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Sample records for aberrant epigenetic modifications

  1. Readout of Epigenetic Modifications

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Dinshaw J.; Wang, Zhanxin

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on a structure-based analysis of histone posttranslational modification (PTM) readout, where the PTMs serve as docking sites for reader modules as part of larger complexes displaying chromatin modifier and remodeling activities, with the capacity to alter chromatin architecture and templated processes. Individual topics addressed include the diversity of reader-binding pocket architectures and common principles underlying readout of methyl-lysine and methyl-arginine marks, their unmodified counterparts, as well as acetyl-lysine and phosphoserine marks. The review also discusses the impact of multivalent readout of combinations of PTMs localized at specific genomic sites by linked binding modules on processes ranging from gene transcription to repair. Additional topics include cross talk between histone PTMs, histone mimics, epigenetic-based diseases, and drug-based therapeutic intervention. The review ends by highlighting new initiatives and advances, as well as future challenges, toward the promise of enhancing our structural and mechanistic understanding of the readout of histone PTMs at the nucleosomal level. PMID:23642229

  2. 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. PMID:24286082

  3. Epigenetic Modifications in Essential Hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Wise, Ingrid A.; Charchar, Fadi J.

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Aberrant epigenetic landscape in intellectual disability.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Mut, J V; Huertas, D; Esteller, M

    2012-01-01

    In recent decades, epigenetics has emerged as a broad-ranging regulatory layer that modulates the whole genome and transcriptome. It largely determines the firing of transcription start sites, the splicing processes, and the binding of transcription factors, among many other processes. Its wide spectrum of action has provided us with the keys to new doors to investigate many diseases, including intellectual disability syndromes. The involvement of epigenetic factors in Rett syndrome is already well established, and its involvement in alpha-thalassemia/mental retardation-X-linked and Rubinstein-Taybi syndromes is also being elucidated. Down syndrome is not an exception, and the most recent reports suggest that epigenetic factors may play a crucial role in its etiology and also have the potential to provide new panels of biomarkers and tailored treatments. PMID:22541288

  5. Epigenetic Modifications during Angiosperm Gametogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Migicovsky, Zoë; Kovalchuk, Igor

    2012-01-01

    Angiosperms do not contain a distinct germline, but rather develop gametes from gametophyte initials that undergo cell division. These gametes contain cells that give rise to an endosperm and the embryo. DNA methylation is decreased in the vegetative nucleus (VN) and central cell nuclei (CCN) resulting in expression of transposable elements (TEs). It is thought that the siRNAs produced in response to TE expression are able to travel to the sperm cells and egg cells (EC) from VN and CCN, respectively, in order to enforce silencing there. Demethylation during gametogenesis helps ensure that even newly integrated TEs are expressed and therefore silenced by the resulting siRNA production. A final form of epigenetic control is modification of histones, which includes accumulation of the H3 variant HTR10 in mature sperm that is then completely replaced following fertilization. In females, the histone isoforms present in the EC and CCN differ, potentially helping to differentiate the two components during gametogenesis. PMID:22645573

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

    PubMed

    Hattori, Naoko; Ushijima, Toshikazu

    2014-12-01

    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. PMID:25194808

  7. Linking epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transition and epigenetic modifications

    PubMed Central

    Stadler, Sonja C.; Allis, C. David

    2012-01-01

    Cancer, as well as other human disorders, has long been considered to result from the consequence of genetic mutations in key regulatory genes that reside in pathways controlling proliferation, cellular differentiation, DNA damage and repair. In the case of cancer, mutations are well documented to arise in key oncogenes and critically important tumor-suppressor genes as part of the disease progression process. In addition to more accepted, genetic mutations, a rapidly increasing body of evidence supports the general view that profound alterations also occur in ‘epigenes’, whose products serve to define the ‘epigenetic landscape’ of tumor cells. Aberrant changes in epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and expression of micro RNAs play an important role in cancer and contribute to malignant transitions. Here we review recent studies linking epigenetic mechanisms to epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition as defined in normal processes, as well as abnormal transitions that lead to oncogensis. PMID:22706095

  8. Epigenetic Modifications of Histones in Periodontal Disease.

    PubMed

    Martins, M D; Jiao, Y; Larsson, L; Almeida, L O; Garaicoa-Pazmino, C; Le, J M; Squarize, C H; Inohara, N; Giannobile, W V; Castilho, R M

    2016-02-01

    Periodontitis is a chronic infectious disease driven by dysbiosis, an imbalance between commensal bacteria and the host organism. Periodontitis is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults and occurs in about 50% of the US population. In addition to the clinical challenges associated with treating periodontitis, the progression and chronic nature of this disease seriously affect human health. Emerging evidence suggests that periodontitis is associated with mechanisms beyond bacteria-induced protein and tissue degradation. Here, we hypothesize that bacteria are able to induce epigenetic modifications in oral epithelial cells mediated by histone modifications. In this study, we found that dysbiosis in vivo led to epigenetic modifications, including acetylation of histones and downregulation of DNA methyltransferase 1. In addition, in vitro exposure of oral epithelial cells to lipopolysaccharides resulted in histone modifications, activation of transcriptional coactivators, such as p300/CBP, and accumulation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). Given that oral epithelial cells are the first line of defense for the periodontium against bacteria, we also evaluated whether activation of pathogen recognition receptors induced histone modifications. We found that activation of the Toll-like receptors 1, 2, and 4 and the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain protein 1 induced histone acetylation in oral epithelial cells. Our findings corroborate the emerging concept that epigenetic modifications play a role in the development of periodontitis. PMID:26496800

  9. 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. PMID:26569572

  10. Epigenetic Modifications of Major Depressive Disorder.

    PubMed

    Saavedra, Kathleen; Molina-Márquez, Ana María; Saavedra, Nicolás; Zambrano, Tomás; Salazar, Luis A

    2016-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a chronic disease whose neurological basis and pathophysiology remain poorly understood. Initially, it was proposed that genetic variations were responsible for the development of this disease. Nevertheless, several studies within the last decade have provided evidence suggesting that environmental factors play an important role in MDD pathophysiology. Alterations in epigenetics mechanism, such as DNA methylation, histone modification and microRNA expression could favor MDD advance in response to stressful experiences and environmental factors. The aim of this review is to describe genetic alterations, and particularly altered epigenetic mechanisms, that could be determinants for MDD progress, and how these alterations may arise as useful screening, diagnosis and treatment monitoring biomarkers of depressive disorders. PMID:27527165

  11. Epigenetic Modifications of Major Depressive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Saavedra, Kathleen; Molina-Márquez, Ana María; Saavedra, Nicolás; Zambrano, Tomás; Salazar, Luis A.

    2016-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a chronic disease whose neurological basis and pathophysiology remain poorly understood. Initially, it was proposed that genetic variations were responsible for the development of this disease. Nevertheless, several studies within the last decade have provided evidence suggesting that environmental factors play an important role in MDD pathophysiology. Alterations in epigenetics mechanism, such as DNA methylation, histone modification and microRNA expression could favor MDD advance in response to stressful experiences and environmental factors. The aim of this review is to describe genetic alterations, and particularly altered epigenetic mechanisms, that could be determinants for MDD progress, and how these alterations may arise as useful screening, diagnosis and treatment monitoring biomarkers of depressive disorders. PMID:27527165

  12. Epigenetic modification of OXT and human sociability.

    PubMed

    Haas, Brian W; Filkowski, Megan M; Cochran, R Nick; Denison, Lydia; Ishak, Alexandra; Nishitani, Shota; Smith, Alicia K

    2016-07-01

    Across many mammalian species there exist genetic and biological systems that facilitate the tendency to be social. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide involved in social-approach behaviors in humans and others mammals. Although there exists a large, mounting body of evidence showing that oxytocin signaling genes are associated with human sociability, very little is currently known regarding the way the structural gene for oxytocin (OXT) confers individual differences in human sociability. In this study, we undertook a comprehensive approach to investigate the association between epigenetic modification of OXT via DNA methylation, and overt measures of social processing, including self-report, behavior, and brain function and structure. Genetic data were collected via saliva samples and analyzed to target and quantify DNA methylation across the promoter region of OXT We observed a consistent pattern of results across sociability measures. People that exhibit lower OXT DNA methylation (presumably linked to higher OXT expression) display more secure attachment styles, improved ability to recognize emotional facial expressions, greater superior temporal sulcus activity during two social-cognitive functional MRI tasks, and larger fusiform gyrus gray matter volume than people that exhibit higher OXT DNA methylation. These findings provide empirical evidence that epigenetic modification of OXT is linked to several overt measures of sociability in humans and serve to advance progress in translational social neuroscience research toward a better understanding of the evolutionary and genetic basis of normal and abnormal human sociability. PMID:27325757

  13. Epigenetics: Beyond Chromatin Modifications and Complex Genetic Regulation1

    PubMed Central

    Eichten, Steven R.; Schmitz, Robert J.; Springer, Nathan M.

    2014-01-01

    Chromatin modifications and epigenetics may play important roles in many plant processes, including developmental regulation, responses to environmental stimuli, and local adaptation. Chromatin modifications describe biochemical changes to chromatin state, such as alterations in the specific type or placement of histones, modifications of DNA or histones, or changes in the specific proteins or RNAs that associate with a genomic region. The term epigenetic is often used to describe a variety of unexpected patterns of gene regulation or inheritance. Here, we specifically define epigenetics to include the key aspects of heritability (stable transmission of gene expression states through mitotic or meiotic cell divisions) and independence from DNA sequence changes. We argue against generically equating chromatin and epigenetics; although many examples of epigenetics involve chromatin changes, those chromatin changes are not always heritable or may be influenced by genetic changes. Careful use of the terms chromatin modifications and epigenetics can help separate the biochemical mechanisms of regulation from the inheritance patterns of altered chromatin states. Here, we also highlight examples in which chromatin modifications and epigenetics affect important plant processes. PMID:24872382

  14. Role of epigenetic modifications in luminal breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Abdel-Hafiz, Hany A; Horwitz, Kathryn B

    2015-01-01

    Luminal breast cancers represent approximately 75% of cases. Explanations into the causes of endocrine resistance are complex and are generally ascribed to genomic mechanisms. Recently, attention has been drawn to the role of epigenetic modifications in hormone resistance. We review these here. Epigenetic modifications are reversible, heritable and include changes in DNA methylation patterns, modification of histones and altered microRNA expression levels that target the receptors or their signaling pathways. Large-scale analyses indicate distinct epigenomic profiles that distinguish breast cancers from normal and benign tissues. Taking advantage of the reversibility of epigenetic modifications, drugs that target epigenetic modifiers, given in combination with chemotherapies or endocrine therapies, may represent promising approaches to restoration of therapy responsiveness in these cases. PMID:25689414

  15. The aging memory: Modulating epigenetic modifications to improve cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Rosalina

    2016-09-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is a major concern in society. Here, I discuss recent evidence that shows an age-related modulation of gene transcription by epigenetic modifications. Epigenetic modifications, such as histone acetylation, is unbalanced in aging, with an increase in histone deacetylation, that limits the expression of plasticity-related genes. By modifying the balance towards histone acetylation, histone deacetylase inhibitors present a new pharmacological approach to ameliorate age-related cognitive deficits. PMID:27390098

  16. Epigenetic inactivation and aberrant transcription of CSMD1 in squamous cell carcinoma cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Toni M; Tong, Benton D; Scholnick, Steven B

    2005-01-01

    Background The p23.2 region of human chromosome 8 is frequently deleted in several types of epithelial cancer and those deletions appear to be associated with poor prognosis. Cub and Sushi Multiple Domains 1 (CSMD1) was positionally cloned as a candidate for the 8p23 suppressor but point mutations in this gene are rare relative to the frequency of allelic loss. In an effort to identify alternative mechanisms of inactivation, we have characterized CSMD1 expression and epigenetic modifications in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. Results Only one of the 20 cell lines examined appears to express a structurally normal CSMD1 transcript. The rest express transcripts which either lack internal exons, terminate abnormally or initiate at cryptic promoters. None of these truncated transcripts is predicted to encode a functional CSMD1 protein. Cell lines that express little or no CSMD1 RNA exhibit DNA methylation of a specific region of the CpG island surrounding CSMD1's first exon. Conclusion Correlating methylation patterns and expression suggests that it is modification of the genomic DNA preceding the first exon that is associated with gene silencing and that methylation of CpG dinucleotides further 3' does not contribute to inactivation of the gene. Taken together, the cell line data suggest that epigenetic silencing and aberrant splicing rather than point mutations may be contributing to the reduction in CSMD1 expression in squamous cancers. These mechanisms can now serve as a focus for further analysis of primary squamous cancers. PMID:16153303

  17. Modeling the relationship of epigenetic modifications to transcription factor binding

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Liang; Jin, Guangxu; Zhou, Xiaobo

    2015-01-01

    Transcription factors (TFs) and epigenetic modifications play crucial roles in the regulation of gene expression, and correlations between the two types of factors have been discovered. However, methods for quantitatively studying the correlations remain limited. Here, we present a computational approach to systematically investigating how epigenetic changes in chromatin architectures or DNA sequences relate to TF binding. We implemented statistical analyses to illustrate that epigenetic modifications are predictive of TF binding affinities, without the need of sequence information. Intriguingly, by considering genome locations relative to transcription start sites (TSSs) or enhancer midpoints, our analyses show that different locations display various relationship patterns. For instance, H3K4me3, H3k9ac and H3k27ac contribute more in the regions near TSSs, whereas H3K4me1 and H3k79me2 dominate in the regions far from TSSs. DNA methylation plays relatively important roles when close to TSSs than in other regions. In addition, the results show that epigenetic modification models for the predictions of TF binding affinities are cell line-specific. Taken together, our study elucidates highly coordinated, but location- and cell type-specific relationships between epigenetic modifications and binding affinities of TFs. PMID:25820421

  18. Epigenetic modifications in osteogenic differentiation and transformation.

    PubMed

    Thomas, David; Kansara, Maya

    2006-07-01

    Almost all tumors are characterized by both architectural and cellular abnormalities in differentiation. Osteoblast development is relatively well understood, making osteosarcoma a good model for understanding how tumorigenesis perturbs normal differentiation. We argue that there are two key transition points in normal cellular differentiation that are the focus of oncogenic events, in both of which epigenetic processes are critical. The first is the transition from an uncommitted pluripotent precursor (mesenchymal stem cell) to the 'transit-amplifying compartment' of the osteoblast lineage. This transition, normally exquisitely regulated in space and time, is abnormal in cancer. The second involves termination of lineage expansion, equally tightly regulated under normal circumstances. In cancer, the mechanisms that mandate eventual cessation of cell division are almost universally disrupted. This model predicts that key differentiation genes in bone, such as RUNX2, act in an oncogenic fashion to initiate entry into a proliferative phase of cell differentiation, and anti-oncogenically into the post-mitotic state, resulting in ambivalent roles in tumorigenesis. Polycomb genes exemplify epigenetic processes in the stem cell compartment and tumorigenesis, and are implicated in skeletal development in vivo. The epigenetic functions of the retinoblastoma protein, which plays a key role in tumorigenesis in bone, is discussed in the context of terminal cell cycle exit. PMID:16598744

  19. Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Tollervey, James; Lunyak, Victoria V.

    2012-01-01

    Emerging evidence is shedding light on a large and complex network of epigenetic modifications at play in human stem cells. This “epigenetic landscape” governs the fine-tuning and precision of gene expression programs that define the molecular basis of stem cell pluripotency, differentiation and reprogramming. This review will focus on recent progress in our understanding of the processes that govern this landscape in stem cells, such as histone modification, DNA methylation, alterations of chromatin structure due to chromatin remodeling and non-coding RNA activity. Further investigation into stem cell epigenetics promises to provide novel advances in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of human diseases. PMID:22805743

  20. Pleurotus eryngii Polysaccharide Promotes Pluripotent Reprogramming via Facilitating Epigenetic Modification.

    PubMed

    Deng, Wenwen; Cao, Xia; Wang, Yan; Yu, Qingtong; Zhang, Zhijian; Qu, Rui; Chen, Jingjing; Shao, Genbao; Gao, Xiangdong; Xu, Ximing; Yu, Jiangnan

    2016-02-17

    Pleurotus eryngii is a medicinal/edible mushroom with great nutritional value and bioactivity. Its polysaccharide has recently been developed into an effective gene vector via cationic modification. In the present study, cationized P. eryngii polysaccharide (CPS), hybridized with calcium phosphate (CP), was used to codeliver plasmids (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc) for generating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The results revealed that the hybrid nanoparticles could significantly enhance the process and efficiency of reprogramming (1.6-fold increase) compared with the CP nanoparticles. The hybrid CPS also facilitated epigenetic modification during the reprogramming. Moreover, these hybrid nanoparticles exhibited multiple pathways (both caveolae- and clathrin-mediated endocytosis) in their cellular internalization, which accounted for the improved iPSCs generation. These findings therefore present a novel application of P. eryngii polysaccharide in pluripotent reprogramming via active epigenetic modification. PMID:26809505

  1. Theoretical analysis of epigenetic cell memory by nucleosome modification.

    PubMed

    Dodd, Ian B; Micheelsen, Mille A; Sneppen, Kim; Thon, Geneviève

    2007-05-18

    Chromosomal regions can adopt stable and heritable alternative states resulting in bistable gene expression without changes to the DNA sequence. Such epigenetic control is often associated with alternative covalent modifications of histones. The stability and heritability of the states are thought to involve positive feedback where modified nucleosomes recruit enzymes that similarly modify nearby nucleosomes. We developed a simplified stochastic model for dynamic nucleosome modification based on the silent mating-type region of the yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We show that the mechanism can give strong bistability that is resistant both to high noise due to random gain or loss of nucleosome modifications and to random partitioning upon DNA replication. However, robust bistability required: (1) cooperativity, the activity of more than one modified nucleosome, in the modification reactions and (2) that nucleosomes occasionally stimulate modification beyond their neighbor nucleosomes, arguing against a simple continuous spreading of nucleosome modification. PMID:17512413

  2. Targeting Aberrant Epigenetic Networks Mediated by PRMT1 and KDM4C in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Ngai; Fung, Tsz Kan; Zeisig, Bernd B.; Holmes, Katie; Rane, Jayant K.; Mowen, Kerri A.; Finn, Michael G.; Lenhard, Boris; Chan, Li Chong; So, Chi Wai Eric

    2016-01-01

    Summary Transcriptional deregulation plays a major role in acute myeloid leukemia, and therefore identification of epigenetic modifying enzymes essential for the maintenance of oncogenic transcription programs holds the key to better understanding of the biology and designing effective therapeutic strategies for the disease. Here we provide experimental evidence for the functional involvement and therapeutic potential of targeting PRMT1, an H4R3 methyltransferase, in various MLL and non-MLL leukemias. PRMT1 is necessary but not sufficient for leukemic transformation, which requires co-recruitment of KDM4C, an H3K9 demethylase, by chimeric transcription factors to mediate epigenetic reprogramming. Pharmacological inhibition of KDM4C/PRMT1 suppresses transcription and transformation ability of MLL fusions and MOZ-TIF2, revealing a tractable aberrant epigenetic circuitry mediated by KDM4C and PRMT1 in acute leukemia. PMID:26766589

  3. Targeting Aberrant Epigenetic Networks Mediated by PRMT1 and KDM4C in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Ngai; Fung, Tsz Kan; Zeisig, Bernd B; Holmes, Katie; Rane, Jayant K; Mowen, Kerri A; Finn, Michael G; Lenhard, Boris; Chan, Li Chong; So, Chi Wai Eric

    2016-01-11

    Transcriptional deregulation plays a major role in acute myeloid leukemia, and therefore identification of epigenetic modifying enzymes essential for the maintenance of oncogenic transcription programs holds the key to better understanding of the biology and designing effective therapeutic strategies for the disease. Here we provide experimental evidence for the functional involvement and therapeutic potential of targeting PRMT1, an H4R3 methyltransferase, in various MLL and non-MLL leukemias. PRMT1 is necessary but not sufficient for leukemic transformation, which requires co-recruitment of KDM4C, an H3K9 demethylase, by chimeric transcription factors to mediate epigenetic reprogramming. Pharmacological inhibition of KDM4C/PRMT1 suppresses transcription and transformation ability of MLL fusions and MOZ-TIF2, revealing a tractable aberrant epigenetic circuitry mediated by KDM4C and PRMT1 in acute leukemia. PMID:26766589

  4. 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. PMID:25929520

  5. Epigenetic modification and inheritance in sexual reversal of fish

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Changwei; Li, Qiye; Chen, Songlin; Zhang, Pei; Lian, Jinmin; Hu, Qiaomu; Sun, Bing; Jin, Lijun; Liu, Shanshan; Wang, Zongji; Zhao, Hongmei; Jin, Zonghui; Liang, Zhuo; Li, Yangzhen; Zheng, Qiumei; Zhang, Yong; Wang, Jun; Zhang, Guojie

    2014-01-01

    Environmental sex determination (ESD) occurs in divergent, phylogenetically unrelated taxa, and in some species, co-occurs with genetic sex determination (GSD) mechanisms. Although epigenetic regulation in response to environmental effects has long been proposed to be associated with ESD, a systemic analysis on epigenetic regulation of ESD is still lacking. Using half-smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) as a model—a marine fish that has both ZW chromosomal GSD and temperature-dependent ESD—we investigated the role of DNA methylation in transition from GSD to ESD. Comparative analysis of the gonadal DNA methylomes of pseudomale, female, and normal male fish revealed that genes in the sex determination pathways are the major targets of substantial methylation modification during sexual reversal. Methylation modification in pseudomales is globally inherited in their ZW offspring, which can naturally develop into pseudomales without temperature incubation. Transcriptome analysis revealed that dosage compensation occurs in a restricted, methylated cytosine enriched Z chromosomal region in pseudomale testes, achieving equal expression level in normal male testes. In contrast, female-specific W chromosomal genes are suppressed in pseudomales by methylation regulation. We conclude that epigenetic regulation plays multiple crucial roles in sexual reversal of tongue sole fish. We also offer the first clues on the mechanisms behind gene dosage balancing in an organism that undergoes sexual reversal. Finally, we suggest a causal link between the bias sex chromosome assortment in the offspring of a pseudomale family and the transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of sexual reversal in tongue sole fish. PMID:24487721

  6. Epigenetic modifications as new targets for liver disease therapies.

    PubMed

    Zeybel, Müjdat; Mann, Derek A; Mann, Jelena

    2013-12-01

    An important discovery from the human genome mapping project was that it is comprised of a surprisingly low number of genes,with recent estimates suggesting they are as few as 25,000 [1].This supported an alternative hypothesis that our complexity in comparison with lower order species is likely to be determined by regulatory mechanisms operating at levels above the fundamental DNA sequences of the genome [2]. One set of mechanisms that dictate tissue and cellular complexity can be described by the overarching term "epigenetics". In the 1940s, Conrad Waddington described epigenetics as "the branch of biology which studies the causal interactions between genes and their products which bring the phenotype into being". Today we understand epigenetics as a gene regulatory system comprised of 3 major mechanisms including DNA modifications (e.g., methylation), use of histone variants and post-translational modifications of the amino acid tails of histones and non-coding RNAs of which microRNAs are the best characterized [3,4]. Together, these mechanisms orchestrate numerous sets of chemical reactions that switch parts of the genome on and off at specific times and locations.Epigenetic marks, or the epigenome, exhibit a high degree of cellular-specificity and developmental or environmentally driven dynamic plasticity. Due to being at the interface between genome and the environment, the epigenome evolves at a very high rate compared to genetic mutations. Indeed, the differences in the epigenome account for most of the phenotypic uniqueness between closely related species, especially primates. More interestingly,the epigenetic changes, or epimutations, within an individual are not only maintained over cellular generations, but may also be transmitted between generations, such that adaptive epimutations generated in response to a particular environmental cue can influence phenotypes in our children and grandchildren [5]. PMID:23747756

  7. Epigenetic modifications in sex heterochromatin of vole rodents.

    PubMed

    Romero-Fernández, I; Casas-Delucchi, C S; Cano-Linares, M; Arroyo, M; Sánchez, A; Cardoso, M C; Marchal, J A

    2015-09-01

    The genome of some vole rodents contains large blocks of heterochromatin coupled to the sex chromosomes. While the DNA content of these heterochromatic blocks has been extensively analyzed, little is known about the epigenetic modifications controlling their structure and dynamics. To better understand its organization and functions within the nucleus, we have compared the distribution pattern of several epigenetic marks in cells from two species, Microtus agrestis and Microtus cabrerae. We first could show that the heterochromatic blocks are identifiable within the nuclei due to their AT enrichment detectable by DAPI staining. By immunostaining analyses, we demonstrated that enrichment in H3K9me3 and HP1, depletion of DNA methylation as well as H4K8ac and H3K4me2, are major conserved epigenetic features of this heterochromatin in both sex chromosomes. Furthermore, we provide evidence of transcriptional activity for some repeated DNAs in cultivated cells. These transcripts are partially polyadenylated and their levels are not altered during mitotic arrest. In summary, we show here that enrichment in H3K9me3 and HP1, DNA demethylation, and transcriptional activity are major epigenetic features of sex heterochromatin in vole rodents. PMID:25527445

  8. Epigenetic Aberrations Are Not Specific to Transcription Factor-Mediated Reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Tiemann, Ulf; Wu, Guangming; Marthaler, Adele Gabriele; Schöler, Hans Robert; Tapia, Natalia

    2016-01-12

    Somatic cells can be reprogrammed to pluripotency using different methods. In comparison with pluripotent cells obtained through somatic nuclear transfer, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) exhibit a higher number of epigenetic errors. Furthermore, most of these abnormalities have been described to be intrinsic to the iPSC technology. Here, we investigate whether the aberrant epigenetic patterns detected in iPSCs are specific to transcription factor-mediated reprogramming. We used germline stem cells (GSCs), which are the only adult cell type that can be converted into pluripotent cells (gPSCs) under defined culture conditions, and compared GSC-derived iPSCs and gPSCs at the transcriptional and epigenetic level. Our results show that both reprogramming methods generate indistinguishable states of pluripotency. GSC-derived iPSCs and gPSCs retained similar levels of donor cell-type memory and exhibited comparable numbers of reprogramming errors. Therefore, our study demonstrates that the epigenetic abnormalities detected in iPSCs are not specific to transcription factor-mediated reprogramming. PMID:26711876

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Han, Jun; Wang, Qiao-Chu; Zhu, Cheng-Cheng; Liu, Jun; Zhang, Yu; Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2016-06-01

    Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a widespread trichothecene mycotoxin which contaminates agricultural staples and elicits a complex spectrum of toxic effects on humans and animals. It has been shown that DON impairs oocyte maturation, reproductive function and causes abnormal fetal development in mammals; however, the mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we investigate the possible reasons of the toxic effects of DON on porcine oocytes. Our results showed that DON significantly inhibited porcine oocyte maturation and disrupted meiotic spindle by reducing p-MAPK protein level, which caused retardation of cell cycle progression. In addition, up-regulated LC3 protein expression and aberrant Lamp2, LC3 and mTOR mRNA levels were observed with DON exposure, together with Annexin V-FITC staining assay analysis, these results indicated that DON treatment induced autophagy/apoptosis in porcine oocytes. We also showed that DON exposure increased DNA methylation level in porcine oocytes through altering DNMT3A mRNA levels. Histone methylation levels were also changed showing with increased H3K27me3 and H3K4me2 protein levels, and mRNA levels of their relative methyltransferase genes, indicating that epigenetic modifications were affected. Taken together, our results suggested that DON exposure reduced porcine oocytes maturation capability through affecting cytoskeletal dynamics, cell cycle, autophagy/apoptosis and epigenetic modifications. PMID:26988607

  12. Zearalenone exposure affects epigenetic modifications of mouse eggs.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Cheng-Cheng; Hou, Yan-Jun; Han, Jun; Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2014-11-01

    Zearalenone (ZEA) is a mycotoxin produced by various Fusarium fungi, which has been shown to cause several cases of mycotoxicosis in farm animals and humans. However, there is no evidence regarding the effect of ZEA on mouse egg developmental competence. In this study, we found that the activation rate of maturated oocytes was affected in mice by ZEA treatment, indicating that ZEA affects egg developmental competence. And we explored possible mechanisms of low mouse maturated oocyte developmental competence after ZEA treatment from an epigenetic modification perspective. The fluorescence intensity analysis showed that 5-methyl cytosine level increased after ZEA treatment, indicating that the general DNA methylation level increased in the treated eggs. Moreover, histone methylations were also altered: H3K4me2 as well as H3K9me3 and H4K20me1, me2, me3 levels decreased in eggs that were cultured in high-dose ZEA medium. Thus, our results indicated that ZEA decreased egg developmental competence by affecting the epigenetic modifications. PMID:25155023

  13. 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

  14. Association of epigenetic alterations in the human C7orf24 gene with the aberrant gene expression in malignant cells.

    PubMed

    Ohno, Yuji; Hattori, Akira; Yoshiki, Tatsuhiro; Kakeya, Hideaki

    2013-10-01

    Human chromosome 7 open reading frame 24 (C7orf24)/γ-glutamyl cyclotransferase has been suggested to be a potential diagnostic marker for several cancers, including carcinomas in the bladder urothelium, breast and endometrial epithelium. We here investigated the epigenetic regulation of the human C7orf24 promoter in normal diploid ARPE-19 and IMR-90 cells and in the MCF-7 and HeLa cancer cell lines to understand the transcriptional basis for the malignant-associated high expression of C7orf24. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that histone modifications associated with active chromatin were enriched in the proximal region but not in the distal region of the C7orf24 promoter in HeLa and MCF-7 cells. In contrast, elevated levels of histone modifications leading to transcriptional repression and accumulation of heterochromatin proteins in the C7orf24 promoter were observed in the ARPE-19 and IMR-90 cells, compared to the levels in HeLa and MCF-7 cancer cells. In parallel, the CpG island of the C7orf24 promoter was methylated to a greater extent in the normal cells than in the cancer cells. These results suggest that the transcriptional silencing of the C7orf24 gene in the non-malignant cells is elicited through heterochromatin formation in its promoter region; aberrant expression of C7orf24 associated with malignant alterations results from changes in chromatin dynamics. PMID:23853312

  15. Epigenetic modifications in valproic acid-induced teratogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Tung, Emily W.Y.; Winn, Louise M.

    2010-11-01

    Exposure to the anticonvulsant drug valproic acid (VPA) in utero is associated with a 1-2% increase in neural tube defects (NTDs), however the molecular mechanisms by which VPA induces teratogenesis are unknown. Previous studies demonstrated that VPA, a direct inhibitor of histone deacetylase, can induce histone hyperacetylation and other epigenetic changes such as histone methylation and DNA demethylation. The objective of this study was to determine if maternal exposure to VPA in mice has the ability to cause these epigenetic alterations in the embryo and thus contribute to its mechanism of teratogenesis. Pregnant CD-1 mice (GD 9.0) were administered a teratogenic dose of VPA (400 mg/kg, s.c.) and embryos extracted 1, 3, 6, and 24 h after injection. To assess embryonic histone acetylation and histone methylation, Western blotting was performed on whole embryo homogenates, as well as immunohistochemical staining on embryonic sections. To measure DNA methylation changes, the cytosine extension assay was performed. Results demonstrated that a significant increase in histone acetylation that peaked 3 h after VPA exposure was accompanied by an increase in histone methylation at histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) and a decrease in histone methylation at histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9). Immunohistochemical staining revealed increased histone acetylation in the neuroepithelium, heart, and somites. A decrease in methylated histone H3K9 staining was observed in the neuroepithelium and somites, METHYLATED histone H3K4 staining was observed in the neuroepithelium. No significant differences in global or CpG island DNA methylation were observed in embryo homogenates. These results support the possibility that epigenetic modifications caused by VPA during early mouse organogenesis results in congenital malformations.

  16. 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)

  17. Current Perspectives on Epigenetic Modifications by Dietary Chemopreventive and Herbal Phytochemicals

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yue; Su, Zheng-Yuan; Kong, Ah-Ng Tony

    2015-01-01

    Studies during the last two decades have revealed the involvement of epigenetic modifications in the development of human cancer. It is now recognized that the interplay of DNA methylation, post-translational histone modification, and non-coding RNAs can interact with genetic defects to drive tumorigenesis. The early onset, reversibility, and dynamic nature of such epigenetic modifications enable them to be developed as promising cancer biomarkers and preventive/therapeutic targets. In addition to the recent approval of several epigenetic therapies in the treatment of human cancer, emerging studies have indicated that dietary phytochemicals might exert cancer chemopreventive effects by targeting epigenetic mechanisms. In this review, we will present the current understanding of the epigenetic alterations in carcinogenesis and highlight the potential of targeting these mechanisms to treat/prevent cancer. The latest findings, published in the past three years regarding the effects of dietary phytochemicals in modulating epigenetic mechanisms will also be discussed. PMID:26328267

  18. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Yao, Bing; Christian, Kimberly M; He, Chuan; Jin, Peng; Ming, Guo-Li; Song, Hongjun

    2016-09-01

    In the embryonic and adult brain, neural stem cells proliferate and give rise to neurons and glia through highly regulated processes. Epigenetic mechanisms - including DNA and histone modifications, as well as regulation by non-coding RNAs - have pivotal roles in different stages of neurogenesis. Aberrant epigenetic regulation also contributes to the pathogenesis of various brain disorders. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of epigenetic regulation in neurogenesis and its dysregulation in brain disorders, including discussion of newly identified DNA cytosine modifications. We also briefly cover the emerging field of epitranscriptomics, which involves modifications of mRNAs and long non-coding RNAs. PMID:27334043

  19. Histone Modifications and Asthma. The Interface of the Epigenetic and Genetic Landscapes.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Courtney D A; Thompson, Philip J; Barrett, Lucy; Baltic, Svetlana

    2016-01-01

    Complex lung diseases, such as asthma, are influenced by both genetic predisposition and environmental stimuli. The epigenetic landscape of such diseases is attracting increasing interest and research. Epigenetics broadly covers the transient and the inheritable changes to gene expression that are not directly due to changes in nucleotide sequences. Epigenetic mechanisms could have significant impact on asthma-related allergic, immune, and regulatory pathways, as well as on the generation of biomarkers and the heritable transmission of asthma phenotypes. Recent technological advances have allowed mapping of the epigenome and analysis of genome-wide epigenetic contributors to disease. As a result, ground-breaking observations regarding histone post-translational modifications in a number of immunological diseases have emerged. In this review, we look beyond the biological information coded by DNA and review the epigenetic modifications made to histones, with evidence suggesting a role for their modification in asthma. PMID:26397168

  20. [Epigenetic modifications in human spermatozoon and its potential role in embryonic development].

    PubMed

    Shaoqin, Ge; Zhenghui, Zhao; Xueqian, Zhang; Yuan, Hao

    2014-05-01

    Spermatogenesis is a highly complex process involving mitotic cell division, meiosis and the process of spermiogenesis, during which unique and extensive chromatin and epigenetic modifications are remodeled to bring about specific epigenetic profiles for spermatozoa. Recent studies have shown that epigenetic modifications in mature spermatozoon play an important role in the developing embryo and its alterations in epigenetic patterns may increase the risk for fertilization failure, dysfunction of embryogenesis, preterm birth, low birthweight, congenital anomalies, perinatal mortality, and several other pregnancy-related complications seen at a higher frequency in babies conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF). In this review, we assess the significance of epigenetic modifications (DNA methylation, histone retention and modification, RNAs and protamine) in mature spermatozoon and its potential role in embryonic development, and elucidate the relationship between altered epigenetic profile and associated diseases, providing basic information for preventing and treating male infertility, evaluating the epigenetic quality of sperm and reducing the risk of epigenetic diseases with babies conceived by assisted reproductive technology (ART). PMID:24846993

  1. 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

  2. Mll partial tandem duplication induces aberrant Hox expression in vivo via specific epigenetic alterations

    PubMed Central

    Dorrance, Adrienne M.; Liu, Shujun; Yuan, Weifeng; Becknell, Brian; Arnoczky, Kristy J.; Guimond, Martin; Strout, Matthew P.; Feng, Lan; Nakamura, Tatsuya; Yu, Li; Rush, Laura J.; Weinstein, Michael; Leone, Gustavo; Wu, Lizhao; Ferketich, Amy; Whitman, Susan P.; Marcucci, Guido; Caligiuri, Michael A.

    2006-01-01

    We previously identified a rearrangement of mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) gene (also known as ALL-1, HRX, and HTRX1), consisting of an in-frame partial tandem duplication (PTD) of exons 5 through 11 in the absence of a partner gene, occurring in approximately 4%–7% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and normal cytogenetics, and associated with a poor prognosis. The mechanism by which the MLL PTD contributes to aberrant hematopoiesis and/or leukemia is unknown. To examine this, we generated a mouse knockin model in which exons 5 through 11 of the murine Mll gene were targeted to intron 4 of the endogenous Mll locus. MllPTD/WT mice exhibit an alteration in the boundaries of normal homeobox (Hox) gene expression during embryogenesis, resulting in axial skeletal defects and increased numbers of hematopoietic progenitor cells. MllPTD/WT mice overexpress Hoxa7, Hoxa9, and Hoxa10 in spleen, BM, and blood. An increase in histone H3/H4 acetylation and histone H3 lysine 4 (Lys4) methylation within the Hoxa7 and Hoxa9 promoters provides an epigenetic mechanism by which this overexpression occurs in vivo and an etiologic role for MLL PTD gain of function in the genesis of AML. PMID:16981007

  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. EpimiR: a database of curated mutual regulation between miRNAs and epigenetic modifications.

    PubMed

    Dai, Enyu; Yu, Xuexin; Zhang, Yan; Meng, Fanlin; Wang, Shuyuan; Liu, Xinyi; Liu, Dianming; Wang, Jing; Li, Xia; Jiang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    As two kinds of important gene expression regulators, both epigenetic modification and microRNA (miRNA) can play significant roles in a wide range of human diseases. Recently, many studies have demonstrated that epigenetics and miRNA can affect each other in various ways. In this study, we established the EpimiR database, which collects 1974 regulations between 19 kinds of epigenetic modifications (such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation, H3K4me3, H3S10p) and 617 miRNAs across seven species (including Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus, Gallus gallus, Epstein-Barr virus, Canis familiaris and Arabidopsis thaliana) from >300 references in the literature. These regulations can be divided into two parts: miR2Epi (103 entries describing how miRNA regulates epigenetic modification) and Epi2miR (1871 entries describing how epigenetic modification affects miRNA). Each entry of EpimiR not only contains basic descriptions of the validated experiment (method, species, reference and so on) but also clearly illuminates the regulatory pathway between epigenetics and miRNA. As a supplement to the curated information, the EpimiR extends to gather predicted epigenetic features (such as predicted transcription start site, upstream CpG island) associated with miRNA for users to guide their future biological experiments. Finally, EpimiR offers download and submission pages. Thus, EpimiR provides a fairly comprehensive repository about the mutual regulation between epigenetic modifications and miRNAs, which will promote the research on the regulatory mechanism of epigenetics and miRNA. Database URL: http://bioinfo.hrbmu.edu.cn/EpimiR/. PMID:24682734

  5. Epigenetic Cross-Talk between DNA Methylation and Histone Modifications in Human Cancers

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    DNA methylation, histone modifications, and the chromatin structure are profoundly altered in human cancers. The silencing of cancer-related genes by these epigenetic regulators is recognized as a key mechanism in tumor formation. Recent findings revealed that DNA methylation and histone modifications appear to be linked to each other. However, it is not clearly understood how the formation of histone modifications may affect DNA methylation and which genes are relevantly involved with tumor formation. The presence of histone modifications does not always link to DNA methylation in human cancers, which suggests that another factor is required to connect these two epigenetic mechanisms. In this review, examples of studies that demonstrated the relationship between histone modifications and DNA methylation in human cancers are presented and the potential implications of these epigenetic mechanisms in human neoplasia are discussed. PMID:19718392

  6. Epigenetics: Principles and Practice

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, James P.

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetics is defined as heritable changes in gene expression that are, unlike mutations, not attributable to alterations in the sequence of DNA. The predominant epigenetic mechanisms are DNA methylation, modifications to chromatin, loss of imprinting and non-coding RNA. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression appears to have long-term effects and wide-ranging effects on health. Diet and environmental exposures may potentially alter the level and scope of epigenetic regulation, thus interesting developments in the study of epigenetics might explain correlations that researchers have found between lifestyle and risk of disease. Aberrant epigenetic patterns have been linked to a number of digestive diseases including Barrett's esophagus, cirrhosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and numerous gastrointestinal malignancies. In fact, many exciting discoveries about epigenetics in general have been made by studying diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and hepatobiliary tree. Epigenetic modifications of DNA in cancer and precancerous lesions offer hope and the promise of novel biomarkers for early cancer detection, prediction, prognosis, and response to treatment. Furthermore, reversal of epigenetic changes represents a potential target of novel therapeutic strategies and medication design. In the future, it is anticipated that innovative diagnostic tests, treatment regimens, and even lifestyle modifications will be based on epigenetic mechanisms and be incorporated into the practice of medicine. PMID:21734376

  7. Epigenetic Modifications in the Biology of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

    PubMed Central

    Pirola, Carlos J.; Scian, Romina; Gianotti, Tomas Fernández; Dopazo, Hernán; Rohr, Cristian; Martino, Julio San; Castaño, Gustavo O.; Sookoian, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) is an epigenetic modification whose role in the pathogenesis of metabolic-related complex diseases remains unexplored; 5-hmC appears to be prevalent in the mitochondrial genome. The Ten-Eleven-Translocation (TET) family of proteins is responsible for catalyzing the conversion of 5-methylcytosine to 5-hmC. We hypothesized that epigenetic editing by 5-hmC might be a novel mechanism through which nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)-associated molecular traits could be explained. Hence, we performed an observational study to explore global levels of 5-hmC in fresh liver samples of patients with NAFLD and controls (n = 90) using an enzyme-linked-immunosorbent serologic assay and immunohistochemistry. We also screened for genetic variation in TET 1–3 loci by next generation sequencing to explore its contribution to the disease biology. The study was conducted in 2 stages (discovery and replication) and included 476 participants. We observed that the amount of 5-hmC in the liver of both NAFLD patients and controls was relatively low (up to 0.1%); a significant association was found with liver mitochondrial DNA copy number (R = 0.50, P = 0.000382) and PPARGC1A-mRNA levels (R = −0.57, P = 0.04). We did not observe any significant difference in the 5-hmC nuclear immunostaining score between NAFLD patients and controls; nevertheless, we found that patients with NAFLD (0.4 ± 0.5) had significantly lower nonnuclear-5-hmC staining compared with controls (1.8 ± 0.8), means ± standard deviation, P = 0.028. The missense p.Ile1123Met variant (TET1-rs3998860) was significantly associated with serum levels of caspase-generated CK-18 fragment-cell death biomarker in the discovery and replication stage, and the disease severity (odds ratio: 1.47, 95% confidence interval: 1.10–1.97; P = 0.005). The p.Ile1762Val substitution (TET2-rs2454206) was associated with liver PPARGC1A-methylation and

  8. [Epigenetics and cancer].

    PubMed

    Deltour, Sophie; Chopin, Valérie; Leprince, Dominique

    2005-04-01

    Epigenetics is defined as "the study of mitotically and/or meiotically heritable changes in gene expression that cannot be explained by changes in the DNA sequence". Setting up the epigenetic program is crucial for correct development and its stable inheritance throughout its lifespan is essential for the maintenance of the tissue- and cell-specific functions of the organism. For many years, the genetic causes of cancer have hold centre stage. However, the recent wealth of information about the molecular mechanisms which, by modulating the chromatin structure, can regulate gene expression has high-lighted the predominant role of epigenetic modifications in the initiation and progression of numerous pathologies, including cancer. The nucleosome is the major target of these epigenetic regulation mechanisms. They include a series of tightly interconnected steps which starting with the setting ("writing") of the epigenetic mark till its "reading" and interpretation will result in long-term gene regulation. The major epigenetic changes associated with tumorigenesis are aberrant DNA methylation of CpG islands located in the promoter region of tumor suppressor gene, global genomic hypomethylation and covalent modifications of histone N-terminal tails which are protruding out from the nucleosome core. In sharp contrast with genetic modifications, epigenetic modifications are highly dynamic and reversible. The characterization of specific inhibitors directed against some key epigenetic players has opened a new and promising therapeutic avenue, the epigenetic therapy, since some inhibitors are already used in clinical trials. PMID:15811306

  9. How stable 'should' epigenetic modifications be? Insights from adaptive plasticity and bet hedging.

    PubMed

    Herman, Jacob J; Spencer, Hamish G; Donohue, Kathleen; Sultan, Sonia E

    2014-03-01

    Although there is keen interest in the potential adaptive value of epigenetic variation, it is unclear what conditions favor the stability of these variants either within or across generations. Because epigenetic modifications can be environmentally sensitive, existing theory on adaptive phenotypic plasticity provides relevant insights. Our consideration of this theory suggests that stable maintenance of environmentally induced epigenetic states over an organism's lifetime is most likely to be favored when the organism accurately responds to a single environmental change that subsequently remains constant, or when the environmental change cues an irreversible developmental transition. Stable transmission of adaptive epigenetic states from parents to offspring may be selectively favored when environments vary across generations and the parental environment predicts the offspring environment. The adaptive value of stability beyond a single generation of parent-offspring transmission likely depends on the costs of epigenetic resetting. Epigenetic stability both within and across generations will also depend on the degree and predictability of environmental variation, dispersal patterns, and the (epi)genetic architecture underlying phenotypic responses to environment. We also discuss conditions that favor stability of random epigenetic variants within the context of bet hedging. We conclude by proposing research directions to clarify the adaptive significance of epigenetic stability. PMID:24274594

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

    PubMed

    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

  11. Epigenetic Modifications Due to Heavy Metals Exposure in Children Living in Polluted Areas

    PubMed Central

    Bitto, Alessandra; Pizzino, Gabriele; Irrera, Natasha; Galfo, Federica; Squadrito, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present article is to provide a summary of the epigenetic modifications that might occur in children exposed to heavy metals pollutants. It is known that children are more susceptible to environmental pollutants, because their detoxification enzymes are less competent, and this may lead to alterations in chromatin structure or of DNA causing, in turn, epigenetic modifications. Little is currently known about the long-term effects of these changes when occur early in childhood, none-theless there are ethics and practical concerns that make the assessment of DNA modifications difficult to perform in large-scale. PMID:25646074

  12. The Epigenetic Modifications of Genes Associated with Tuberculosis Susceptibility and Implications for Epi-Drugs.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Jie; Xie, Longxiang; Luo, Hongping; Xie, Jianping

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics of genes associated with tuberculosis susceptibility such as DNA methylation, posttranslational histone modifications, and non-coding RNA remain largely untapped field for better tuberculosis control. Many genes involved in tuberculosis susceptibility (e.g., NRAMP1 (SLC11A1), IFNG, NOS2A, VDR, ISG15, TACO, TLR1, TLR, IL18R1, chemokines, PADI, DUSP14, MBL, and MASP-2) have been subjected to epigenetic modification. Our summary of these modifications provides fresh insights into the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and inspires targets discovery for host-derived therapy. PMID:26559095

  13. Epigenetic modifications of the immune system in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Obata, Yuuki; Furusawa, Yukihiro; Hase, Koji

    2015-03-01

    Vertebrate animals have developed sophisticated host defense mechanisms against potentially hostile antigens. These mechanisms mainly involve the immune system and the epithelial cells that cover the body surface. Accumulating studies have revealed that epigenetic mechanisms in collaboration with signal transduction networks regulate gene expression over the course of differentiation, proliferation and function of immune and epithelial cells. The epigenetic status of these cells is fine-tuned under physiological conditions; however, its disturbance often results in the development of immunological disorders, namely inflammation. Certain environmental factors influence the differentiation and function of immune cells through epigenetic alterations. For example, commensal microbiota-derived metabolites inhibit histone deacetylases to induce regulatory T cells, whereas some infectious agents induce DNA methylation, resulting in the development of cancer. These data imply that epigenetic regulation of host defense cells, which are usually the first to encounter external antigens, is implicated in disease development. Here, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which the epigenetic status of immune and epithelial cells is controlled. PMID:25666097

  14. Progress in epigenetic histone modification analysis by mass spectrometry for clinical investigations

    PubMed Central

    Önder, Özlem; Sidoli, Simone; Carroll, Martin; Garcia, Benjamin A.

    2016-01-01

    Chromatin biology and epigenetics are scientific fields in rapid expansion due to their fundamental role in understanding cell development, heritable characters and progression of diseases. Histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) are major regulators of the epigenetic machinery, due to their ability to modulate gene expression, DNA repair and chromosome condensation. Large- scale strategies based on mass spectrometry have been impressively improved in the last decade, so that global changes of histone PTM abundances are quantifiable with nearly routine proteomics analyses and it is now possible to determine combinatorial patterns of modifications. Presented here is an overview of the most utilized and newly developed proteomics strategies for histone PTM characterization and a number of case studies where epigenetic mechanisms have been comprehensively characterized. Moreover, a number of current epigenetics therapies are illustrated, with an emphasis on cancer PMID:26400466

  15. Epigenetic modifications in the nervous system and their impact upon cognitive impairments.

    PubMed

    Rudenko, Andrii; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2014-05-01

    Epigenetic regulation has been long considered to be a critical mechanism in the control of key aspects of cellular functions such as cell division, growth, and cell fate determination. Exciting recent developments have demonstrated that epigenetic mechanisms can also play necessary roles in the nervous system by regulating, for example, neuronal gene expression, DNA damage, and genome stability. Despite the fact that postmitotic neurons are developmentally less active then dividing cells, epigenetic regulation appears to provide means of both long-lasting and very dynamic regulation of neuronal function. Growing evidence indicates that epigenetic mechanisms in the central nervous system (CNS) are important for regulating not only specific aspects of individual neuronal metabolism but also for maintaining function of neuronal circuits and regulating their behavioral outputs. Multiple reports demonstrated that higher-level cognitive behaviors, such as learning and memory, are subject to a sophisticated epigenetic control, which includes interplay between multiple mechanisms of neuronal chromatin modification. Experiments with animal models have demonstrated that various epigenetic manipulations can affect cognition in different ways, from severe dysfunction to substantial improvement. In humans, epigenetic dysregulation has been known to underlie a number of disorders that are accompanied by mental impairment. Here, we review some of the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate cognition and how their disruption may contribute to cognitive dysfunctions. Due to the fact that histone acetylation and DNA methylation are some of the best-studied and critically important epigenomic modifications our research team has particularly strong expertise in, in this review, we are going to concentrate on histone acetylation, as well as DNA methylation/hydroxymethylation, in the mammalian CNS. Additional epigenetic modifications, not surveyed here, are being discussed in depth in the

  16. Early-stage epigenetic modification during somatic cell reprogramming by Parp1 and Tet2.

    PubMed

    Doege, Claudia A; Inoue, Keiichi; Yamashita, Toru; Rhee, David B; Travis, Skylar; Fujita, Ryousuke; Guarnieri, Paolo; Bhagat, Govind; Vanti, William B; Shih, Alan; Levine, Ross L; Nik, Sara; Chen, Emily I; Abeliovich, Asa

    2012-08-30

    Somatic cells can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by using the pluripotency factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc (together referred to as OSKM). iPSC reprogramming erases somatic epigenetic signatures—as typified by DNA methylation or histone modification at silent pluripotency loci—and establishes alternative epigenetic marks of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Here we describe an early and essential stage of somatic cell reprogramming, preceding the induction of transcription at endogenous pluripotency loci such as Nanog and Esrrb. By day 4 after transduction with OSKM, two epigenetic modification factors necessary for iPSC generation, namely poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (Parp1) and ten-eleven translocation-2 (Tet2), are recruited to the Nanog and Esrrb loci. These epigenetic modification factors seem to have complementary roles in the establishment of early epigenetic marks during somatic cell reprogramming: Parp1 functions in the regulation of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) modification, whereas Tet2 is essential for the early generation of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) by the oxidation of 5mC (refs 3,4). Although 5hmC has been proposed to serve primarily as an intermediate in 5mC demethylation to cytosine in certain contexts, our data, and also studies of Tet2-mutant human tumour cells, argue in favour of a role for 5hmC as an epigenetic mark distinct from 5mC. Consistent with this, Parp1 and Tet2 are each needed for the early establishment of histone modifications that typify an activated chromatin state at pluripotency loci, whereas Parp1 induction further promotes accessibility to the Oct4 reprogramming factor. These findings suggest that Parp1 and Tet2 contribute to an epigenetic program that directs subsequent transcriptional induction at pluripotency loci during somatic cell reprogramming. PMID:22902501

  17. Hypoxia-induced epigenetic modifications are associated with cardiac tissue fibrosis and the development of a myofibroblast-like phenotype.

    PubMed

    Watson, Chris J; Collier, Patrick; Tea, Isaac; Neary, Roisin; Watson, Jenny A; Robinson, Claire; Phelan, Dermot; Ledwidge, Mark T; McDonald, Kenneth M; McCann, Amanda; Sharaf, Osama; Baugh, John A

    2014-04-15

    Ischemia caused by coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction leads to aberrant ventricular remodeling and cardiac fibrosis. This occurs partly through accumulation of gene expression changes in resident fibroblasts, resulting in an overactive fibrotic phenotype. Long-term adaptation to a hypoxic insult is likely to require significant modification of chromatin structure in order to maintain the fibrotic phenotype. Epigenetic changes may play an important role in modulating hypoxia-induced fibrosis within the heart. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate the potential pro-fibrotic impact of hypoxia on cardiac fibroblasts and determine whether alterations in DNA methylation could play a role in this process. This study found that within human cardiac tissue, the degree of hypoxia was associated with increased expression of collagen 1 and alpha-smooth muscle actin (ASMA). In addition, human cardiac fibroblast cells exposed to prolonged 1% hypoxia resulted in a pro-fibrotic state. These hypoxia-induced pro-fibrotic changes were associated with global DNA hypermethylation and increased expression of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) enzymes DNMT1 and DNMT3B. Expression of these methylating enzymes was shown to be regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α. Using siRNA to block DNMT3B expression significantly reduced collagen 1 and ASMA expression. In addition, application of the DNMT inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine suppressed the pro-fibrotic effects of TGFβ. Epigenetic modifications and changes in the epigenetic machinery identified in cardiac fibroblasts during prolonged hypoxia may contribute to the pro-fibrotic nature of the ischemic milieu. Targeting up-regulated expression of DNMTs in ischemic heart disease may prove to be a valuable therapeutic approach. PMID:24301681

  18. Beyond Genotype: Serotonin Transporter Epigenetic Modification Predicts Human Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Nikolova, Yuliya S.; Koenen, Karestan C.; Galea, Sandro; Wang, Chiou-Miin; Seney, Marianne L.; Sibille, Etienne; Williamson, Douglas E.; Hariri, Ahmad R.

    2014-01-01

    We examined epigenetic regulation in regards to behaviorally and clinically relevant human brain function. Specifically, we found that increased promoter methylation of the serotonin transporter gene predicted increased threat-related amygdala reactivity and decreased mRNA expression in postmortem amygdala tissue. These patterns were independent of functional genetic variation in the same region. Furthermore, the association with amygdala reactivity was replicated in a second cohort and was robust to both sampling methods and age. PMID:25086606

  19. Aberrant epigenetic regulation in clear cell sarcoma of the kidney featuring distinct DNA hypermethylation and EZH2 overexpression

    PubMed Central

    Jansson, Caroline; O'Sullivan, Maureen J.; Mengelbier, Linda Holmquist; Gisselsson, David

    2016-01-01

    The global methylation profile and the mutational status of 633 specific epigenetic regulators were analyzed in the pediatric tumor clear cell sarcoma of the kidney (CCSK). Methylation array analyses of 30 CCSKs revealed CCSK tumor DNA to be globally hypermethylated compared to Wilms tumor, normal fetal kidney, and adult kidney. The aberrant methylation pattern of CCSKs was associated with activation of genes involved in embryonic processes and with silencing of genes linked to normal kidney function. No epigenetic regulator was recurrently mutated in our cohort, but a mutation in the key epigenetic regulator EZH2 was discovered in one case. EZH2 mRNA was significantly higher in CCSK compared to Wilms tumor and normal kidney, and the EZH2 protein was strongly expressed in more than 90 % of CCSK tumor cells in 9/9 tumors analyzed. This was in striking contrast to the lack of EZH2 protein expression in Wilms tumor stromal elements, indicating that EZH2 could be explored further as a diagnostic marker and a potential drug target for CCSK. PMID:26848979

  20. Epigenetic modifications in 3D: Nuclear organization of the differentiating mammary epithelial cell

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During the development of tissues, complex programs take place to reach terminally differentiated states with specific gene expression profiles. Epigenetic regulations such as, histone modifications and chromatin condensation have been implicated in the short and long-term control of transcription. ...

  1. Epigenetic modification suppresses proliferation, migration and invasion of urothelial cancer cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Brockmeyer, Phillipp; Hemmerlein, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic approaches offer additional therapeutic options, including apoptosis induction, modification of cell cycle regulating proteins and the re-expression of pharmaceutical targets, such as hormone receptors. The present study analyzed the effect of the epigenetic modifiers 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine and Trichostatin A on the proliferative, migratory and invasive behavior of four urinary bladder cancer cell lines (RT-4, RT-112, VMCUB-1 and T-24), and the expression of various matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Cell proliferation, migration and invasion assays revealed that treatment with the two epigenetic modifiers resulted in proliferation inhibition in all cell lines, and migration and invasion inhibition in RT-4, RT-112 and T-24 cell lines. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that the mRNA expression of a broad selection of MMPs and their TIMPs was induced in all cell lines, and MMP-14 mRNA expression was suppressed in all cell lines, with the exception of RT-4. In conclusion, epigenetic modifications suppressed the motility and invasiveness of three out of four urothelial cancer cell lines. The inhibitory effect on cell motility appears to be crucial for reduced invasive properties. However, even a broad spectrum of mRNA analysis does not sufficiently explain the loss of invasiveness, as it does not allow for functional conclusions. Further complex urothelial tumour models should be applied to investigate whether epigenetic therapeutic approaches may be an option in urothelial cancer. PMID:27602104

  2. Epigenetic Modifications as Antidedifferentiation Strategy for Primary Hepatocytes in Culture.

    PubMed

    Bolleyn, Jennifer; Fraczek, Joanna; Rogiers, Vera; Vanhaecke, Tamara

    2015-01-01

    A well-known problem of cultured primary hepatocytes is their rapid dedifferentiation. During the last years, several strategies to counteract this phenomenon have been developed, of which changing the in vitro environment is the most popular one. However, mimicking the in vivo setting in vitro by adding soluble media additives or the restoration of both cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix contacts is not sufficient and only delays the dedifferentiation process instead of counteracting it. In this chapter, new strategies to prevent the deterioration of the liver-specific phenotype of primary hepatocytes in culture by targeting the (epi)genetic mechanisms that drive hepatocellular gene expression are described. PMID:26272144

  3. Single-locus enrichment without amplification for sequencing and direct detection of epigenetic modifications.

    PubMed

    Pham, Thang T; Yin, Jun; Eid, John S; Adams, Evan; Lam, Regina; Turner, Stephen W; Loomis, Erick W; Wang, Jun Yi; Hagerman, Paul J; Hanes, Jeremiah W

    2016-06-01

    A gene-level targeted enrichment method for direct detection of epigenetic modifications is described. The approach is demonstrated on the CGG-repeat region of the FMR1 gene, for which large repeat expansions, hitherto refractory to sequencing, are known to cause fragile X syndrome. In addition to achieving a single-locus enrichment of nearly 700,000-fold, the elimination of all amplification steps removes PCR-induced bias in the repeat count and preserves the native epigenetic modifications of the DNA. In conjunction with the single-molecule real-time sequencing approach, this enrichment method enables direct readout of the methylation status and the CGG repeat number of the FMR1 allele(s) for a clonally derived cell line. The current method avoids potential biases introduced through chemical modification and/or amplification methods for indirect detection of CpG methylation events. PMID:26825750

  4. Epigenetic Characterization of the FMR1 Gene and Aberrant Neurodevelopment in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Models of Fragile X Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Reis, Surya A.; Zhou, Fen; Madison, Jon M.; Daheron, Laurence; Loring, Jeanne F.; Haggarty, Stephen J.

    2011-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability. In addition to cognitive deficits, FXS patients exhibit hyperactivity, attention deficits, social difficulties, anxiety, and other autistic-like behaviors. FXS is caused by an expanded CGG trinucleotide repeat in the 5′ untranslated region of the Fragile X Mental Retardation (FMR1) gene leading to epigenetic silencing and loss of expression of the Fragile X Mental Retardation protein (FMRP). Despite the known relationship between FMR1 CGG repeat expansion and FMR1 silencing, the epigenetic modifications observed at the FMR1 locus, and the consequences of the loss of FMRP on human neurodevelopment and neuronal function remain poorly understood. To address these limitations, we report on the generation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines from multiple patients with FXS and the characterization of their differentiation into post-mitotic neurons and glia. We show that clones from reprogrammed FXS patient fibroblast lines exhibit variation with respect to the predominant CGG-repeat length in the FMR1 gene. In two cases, iPSC clones contained predominant CGG-repeat lengths shorter than measured in corresponding input population of fibroblasts. In another instance, reprogramming a mosaic patient having both normal and pre-mutation length CGG repeats resulted in genetically matched iPSC clonal lines differing in FMR1 promoter CpG methylation and FMRP expression. Using this panel of patient-specific, FXS iPSC models, we demonstrate aberrant neuronal differentiation from FXS iPSCs that is directly correlated with epigenetic modification of the FMR1 gene and a loss of FMRP expression. Overall, these findings provide evidence for a key role for FMRP early in human neurodevelopment prior to synaptogenesis and have implications for modeling of FXS using iPSC technology. By revealing disease-associated cellular phenotypes in human neurons, these iPSC models will aid in the

  5. Epigenetics and aging.

    PubMed

    Pal, Sangita; Tyler, Jessica K

    2016-07-01

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

  6. 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

  7. The long-term impact of adverse caregiving environments on epigenetic modifications and telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Blaze, Jennifer; Asok, Arun; Roth, Tania L.

    2015-01-01

    Early childhood is a sensitive period in which infant-caregiver experiences have profound effects on brain development and behavior. Clinical studies have demonstrated that infants who experience stress and adversity in the context of caregiving are at an increased risk for the development of psychiatric disorders. Animal models have helped to elucidate some molecular substrates of these risk factors, but a complete picture of the biological basis remains unknown. Studies continue to indicate that environmentally-driven epigenetic modifications may be an important mediator between adverse caregiving environments and psychopathology. Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, which normally represses gene transcription, and microRNA processing, which interferes with both transcription and translation, show long-term changes throughout the brain and body following adverse caregiving. Recent evidence has also shown that telomeres (TTAGGG nucleotide repeats that cap the ends of DNA) exhibit long-term changes in the brain and in the periphery following exposure to adverse caregiving environments. Interestingly, telomeric enzymes and subtelomeric regions are subject to epigenetic modifications—a factor which may play an important role in regulating telomere length and contribute to future mental health. This review will focus on clinical and animal studies that highlight the long-term epigenetic and telomeric changes produced by adverse caregiving in early-life. PMID:25904853

  8. Light-induced nuclear export reveals rapid dynamics of epigenetic modifications.

    PubMed

    Yumerefendi, Hayretin; Lerner, Andrew Michael; Zimmerman, Seth Parker; Hahn, Klaus; Bear, James E; Strahl, Brian D; Kuhlman, Brian

    2016-06-01

    We engineered a photoactivatable system for rapidly and reversibly exporting proteins from the nucleus by embedding a nuclear export signal in the LOV2 domain from phototropin 1. Fusing the chromatin modifier Bre1 to the photoswitch, we achieved light-dependent control of histone H2B monoubiquitylation in yeast, revealing fast turnover of the ubiquitin mark. Moreover, this inducible system allowed us to dynamically monitor the status of epigenetic modifications dependent on H2B ubiquitylation. PMID:27089030

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  11. DNA Crossover Motifs Associated with Epigenetic Modifications Delineate Open Chromatin Regions in Arabidopsis[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Shilo, Shay; Melamed-Bessudo, Cathy; Barkai, Naama

    2015-01-01

    The rate of crossover, the reciprocal exchanges of homologous chromosomal segments, is not uniform along chromosomes differing between male and female meiocytes. To better understand the factors regulating this variable landscape, we performed a detailed genetic and epigenetic analysis of 737 crossover events in Arabidopsis thaliana. Crossovers were more frequent than expected in promoters. Three DNA motifs enriched in crossover regions and less abundant in crossover-poor pericentric regions were identified. One of these motifs, the CCN repeat, was previously unknown in plants. The A-rich motif was preferentially associated with promoters, while the CCN repeat and the CTT repeat motifs were preferentially associated with genes. Analysis of epigenetic modifications around the motifs showed, in most cases, a specific epigenetic architecture. For example, we show that there is a peak of nucleosome occupancy and of H3K4me3 around the CCN and CTT repeat motifs while nucleosome occupancy was lowest around the A-rich motif. Cytosine methylation levels showed a gradual decrease within ∼2 kb of the three motifs, being lowest at sites where crossover occurred. This landscape was conserved in the decreased DNA methylation1 mutant. In summary, the crossover motifs are associated with epigenetic landscapes corresponding to open chromatin and contributing to the nonuniformity of crossovers in Arabidopsis. PMID:26381163

  12. A genomic screen for long noncoding RNA genes epigenetically silenced by aberrant DNA methylation in colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kumegawa, Kohei; Maruyama, Reo; Yamamoto, Eiichiro; Ashida, Masami; Kitajima, Hiroshi; Tsuyada, Akihiro; Niinuma, Takeshi; Kai, Masahiro; Yamano, Hiro-o; Sugai, Tamotsu; Tokino, Takashi; Shinomura, Yasuhisa; Imai, Kohzoh; Suzuki, Hiromu

    2016-01-01

    Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as key components in multiple cellular processes, although their physiological and pathological functions are not fully understood. To identify cancer-related lncRNAs, we screened for those that are epigenetically silenced in colorectal cancer (CRC). Through a genome-wide analysis of histone modifications in CRC cells, we found that the transcription start sites (TSSs) of 1,027 lncRNA genes acquired trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3) after DNA demethylation. Integrative analysis of chromatin signatures and the DNA methylome revealed that the promoter CpG islands (CGIs) of 66 lncRNA genes contained cancer-specific methylation. By validating the expression and methylation of lncRNA genes in CRC cells, we ultimately identified 20 lncRNAs, including ZNF582-AS1, as targets of epigenetic silencing in CRC. ZNF582-AS1 is frequently methylated in CRC cell lines (87.5%), primary CRCs (77.2%), colorectal adenomas (44.7%) and advanced adenomas (87.8%), suggesting that this methylation is an early event during colorectal tumorigenesis. Methylation of ZNF582-AS1 is associated with poor survival of CRC patients, and ectopic expression of ZNF582-AS1 suppressed colony formation by CRC cells. Our findings offer insight into the association between epigenetic alterations and lncRNA dysregulation in cancer and suggest that ZNF582-AS1 may be a novel tumor-suppressive lncRNA. PMID:27215978

  13. A genomic screen for long noncoding RNA genes epigenetically silenced by aberrant DNA methylation in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Kumegawa, Kohei; Maruyama, Reo; Yamamoto, Eiichiro; Ashida, Masami; Kitajima, Hiroshi; Tsuyada, Akihiro; Niinuma, Takeshi; Kai, Masahiro; Yamano, Hiro-O; Sugai, Tamotsu; Tokino, Takashi; Shinomura, Yasuhisa; Imai, Kohzoh; Suzuki, Hiromu

    2016-01-01

    Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as key components in multiple cellular processes, although their physiological and pathological functions are not fully understood. To identify cancer-related lncRNAs, we screened for those that are epigenetically silenced in colorectal cancer (CRC). Through a genome-wide analysis of histone modifications in CRC cells, we found that the transcription start sites (TSSs) of 1,027 lncRNA genes acquired trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3) after DNA demethylation. Integrative analysis of chromatin signatures and the DNA methylome revealed that the promoter CpG islands (CGIs) of 66 lncRNA genes contained cancer-specific methylation. By validating the expression and methylation of lncRNA genes in CRC cells, we ultimately identified 20 lncRNAs, including ZNF582-AS1, as targets of epigenetic silencing in CRC. ZNF582-AS1 is frequently methylated in CRC cell lines (87.5%), primary CRCs (77.2%), colorectal adenomas (44.7%) and advanced adenomas (87.8%), suggesting that this methylation is an early event during colorectal tumorigenesis. Methylation of ZNF582-AS1 is associated with poor survival of CRC patients, and ectopic expression of ZNF582-AS1 suppressed colony formation by CRC cells. Our findings offer insight into the association between epigenetic alterations and lncRNA dysregulation in cancer and suggest that ZNF582-AS1 may be a novel tumor-suppressive lncRNA. PMID:27215978

  14. Asymmetric Epigenetic Modification and Elimination of rDNA Sequences by Polyploidization in Wheat[W

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Xiang

    2014-01-01

    rRNA genes consist of long tandem repeats clustered on chromosomes, and their products are important functional components of the ribosome. In common wheat (Triticum aestivum), rDNA loci from the A and D genomes were largely lost during the evolutionary process. This biased DNA elimination may be related to asymmetric transcription and epigenetic modifications caused by the polyploid formation. Here, we observed both sets of parental nucleolus organizing regions (NORs) were expressed after hybridization, but asymmetric silencing of one parental NOR was immediately induced by chromosome doubling, and reversing the ploidy status could not reactivate silenced NORs. Furthermore, increased CHG and CHH DNA methylation on promoters was accompanied by asymmetric silencing of NORs. Enrichment of H3K27me3 and H3K9me2 modifications was also observed to be a direct response to increased DNA methylation and transcriptional inactivation of NOR loci. Both A and D genome NOR loci with these modifications started to disappear in the S4 generation and were completely eliminated by the S7 generation in synthetic tetraploid wheat. Our results indicated that asymmetric epigenetic modification and elimination of rDNA sequences between different donor genomes may lead to stable allopolyploid wheat with increased differentiation and diversity. PMID:25415973

  15. Asymmetric epigenetic modification and elimination of rDNA sequences by polyploidization in wheat.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiang; Han, Fangpu

    2014-11-01

    rRNA genes consist of long tandem repeats clustered on chromosomes, and their products are important functional components of the ribosome. In common wheat (Triticum aestivum), rDNA loci from the A and D genomes were largely lost during the evolutionary process. This biased DNA elimination may be related to asymmetric transcription and epigenetic modifications caused by the polyploid formation. Here, we observed both sets of parental nucleolus organizing regions (NORs) were expressed after hybridization, but asymmetric silencing of one parental NOR was immediately induced by chromosome doubling, and reversing the ploidy status could not reactivate silenced NORs. Furthermore, increased CHG and CHH DNA methylation on promoters was accompanied by asymmetric silencing of NORs. Enrichment of H3K27me3 and H3K9me2 modifications was also observed to be a direct response to increased DNA methylation and transcriptional inactivation of NOR loci. Both A and D genome NOR loci with these modifications started to disappear in the S4 generation and were completely eliminated by the S7 generation in synthetic tetraploid wheat. Our results indicated that asymmetric epigenetic modification and elimination of rDNA sequences between different donor genomes may lead to stable allopolyploid wheat with increased differentiation and diversity. PMID:25415973

  16. Spatial Distribution of Epigenetic Modifications in Brachypodium distachyon Embryos during Seed Maturation and Germination

    PubMed Central

    Wolny, Elzbieta; Braszewska-Zalewska, Agnieszka; Hasterok, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Seed development involves a plethora of spatially and temporally synchronised genetic and epigenetic processes. Although it has been shown that epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and chromatin remodelling, act on a large number of genes during seed development and germination, to date the global levels of histone modifications have not been studied in a tissue-specific manner in plant embryos. In this study we analysed the distribution of three epigenetic markers, i.e. H4K5ac, H3K4me2 and H3K4me1 in ‘matured’, ‘dry’ and ‘germinating’ embryos of a model grass, Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium). Our results indicate that the abundance of these modifications differs considerably in various organs and tissues of the three types of Brachypodium embryos. Embryos from matured seeds were characterised by the highest level of H4K5ac in RAM and epithelial cells of the scutellum, whereas this modification was not observed in the coleorhiza. In this type of embryos H3K4me2 was most evident in epithelial cells of the scutellum. In ‘dry’ embryos H4K5ac was highest in the coleorhiza but was not present in the nuclei of the scutellum. H3K4me1 was the most elevated in the coleoptile but absent from the coleorhiza, whereas H3K4me2 was the most prominent in leaf primordia and RAM. In embryos from germinating seeds H4K5ac was the most evident in the scutellum but not present in the coleoptile, similarly H3K4me1 was the highest in the scutellum and very low in the coleoptile, while the highest level of H3K4me2 was observed in the coleoptile and the lowest in the coleorhiza. The distinct patterns of epigenetic modifications that were observed may be involved in the switch of the gene expression profiles in specific organs of the developing embryo and may be linked with the physiological changes that accompany seed desiccation, imbibition and germination. PMID:25006668

  17. Epigenetic modifications and long non-coding RNAs influence pancreas development and function

    PubMed Central

    Arnes, Luis; Sussel, Lori

    2015-01-01

    Insulin-producing β-cells within the pancreatic islet of Langerhans are responsible for maintaining glucose homeostasis; the loss or malfunction of β-cells results in diabetes mellitus. Recent advances in cell purification strategies and sequencing technologies as well as novel molecular tools have revealed that epigenetic modifications and long non-coding RNAs represent an integral part of the transcriptional mechanisms regulating pancreas development and β-cell function. Importantly, these findings have uncovered a new layer of gene regulation in the pancreas that can be exploited to enhance the restoration and/or repair of β-cells to treat diabetes. PMID:25812926

  18. Platelet-Activating Factor Induces Epigenetic Modifications in Human Mast Cells.

    PubMed

    Damiani, Elisabetta; Puebla-Osorio, Nahum; Gorbea, Enrique; Ullrich, Stephen E

    2015-12-01

    UV radiation-induced systemic immune suppression is a major risk factor for skin cancer induction. The migration of dermal mast cells from the skin to the draining lymph nodes has a prominent role in activating systemic immune suppression. UV-induced keratinocyte-derived platelet-activating factor (PAF) activates mast cell migration, in part by upregulating the expression of CXCR4 on the surface of mast cells. Others have indicated that epigenetic mechanisms regulate CXCR4 expression; therefore, we asked whether PAF activates epigenetic mechanisms in mast cells. Human mast cells were treated with PAF, and the effect on DNA methylation and/or acetylation was measured. PAF suppressed the expression of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) 1 and 3b. On the other hand, PAF increased p300 histone acetyltransferase expression, and the acetylation of histone H3, which coincided with a decreased expression of the histone deacetylase HDAC2. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that PAF treatment activated the acetylation of the CXCR4 promoter. Finally, inhibiting histone acetylation blocked p300 upregulation and suppressed PAF-induced surface expression of CXCR4. Our findings suggest a novel molecular mechanism for PAF, activation of epigenetic modifications. We suggest that PAF may serve as an endogenous molecular mediator that links the environment (UV radiation) with the epigenome. PMID:26316070

  19. Platelet-Activating Factor Induces Epigenetic Modifications in Human Mast Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gorbea, Enrique; Ullrich, Stephen E.

    2015-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiation-induced systemic immune suppression is a major risk factor for skin cancer induction. The migration of dermal mast cells from the skin to the draining lymph nodes plays a prominent role in activating systemic immune suppression. UV-induced keratinocyte-derived platelet-activating factor (PAF) activates mast cell migration, in part by up regulating the expression of CXCR4 on the surface of mast cells. Others have indicated that epigenetic mechanisms regulate CXCR4 expression, so we asked whether PAF activates epigenetic mechanisms in mast cells. Human mast cells were treated with PAF and the effect on DNA methylation and/or acetylation was measured. PAF suppressed the expression of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) 1 and 3b. On the other hand, PAF increased p300 histone acetyltransferase expression, and the acetylation of histone H3, which coincided with a decreased expression of the histone deacetylase HDAC2. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that PAF-treatment activated the acetylation of the CXCR4 promoter. Finally, inhibiting histone acetylation blocked p300 up-regulation and suppressed PAF-induced surface expression of CXCR4. Our findings suggest a novel molecular mechanism for PAF, activation of epigenetic modifications. We suggest that PAF may serve as an endogenous molecular mediator that links the environment (UV radiation) with the epigenome. PMID:26316070

  20. The study of epigenetic mechanisms based on the analysis of histone modification patterns by flow cytometry.

    PubMed

    Watson, Maria; Chow, Sue; Barsyte, Dalia; Arrowsmith, Cheryl; Shankey, T Vincent; Minden, Mark; Hedley, David

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation of genes involved in cell growth, survival, or differentiation through histone modifications is an important determinant of cancer development and outcome. The basic science of epigenetics uses analytical tools that, although powerful, are not well suited to the analysis of heterogeneous cell populations found in human cancers, or for monitoring the effects of drugs designed to modulate epigenetic mechanisms in patients. To address this, we selected three clinically relevant histone marks (H3K27me3, H3K9ac, and H3K9me2), modulated their expression levels by in vitro treatments to generate high and low expressing control cells, and tested the relative sensitivity of candidate antibodies to detect the differences in expression levels by flow cytoametry using a range of sample preparation techniques. We identified monoclonal antibodies to all three histone marks that were suitable for flow cytoametry. Staining intensities were reduced with increasing formaldehyde concentration, and were not affected by ionic strength or by alcohol treatment. A protocol suitable for clinical samples was then developed, to allow combined labeling of histone marks and surface antigens while preserving light scatter signals. This was applied to normal donor blood, and to samples obtained from 25 patients with leukemia (predominantly acute myeloid leukemia). Significant cellular heterogeneity in H3K9ac and H3K27me3 staining was seen in normal peripheral blood, but the patterns were very similar between individual donors. In contrast, H3K27me3 in particular showed considerable inter-patient heterogeneity in the leukemia cell populations. Although further refinements are likely needed to fully optimize sample staining protocols, "flow epigenetics" appears to be technically feasible, and to have potential both in basic research, and in clinical application. PMID:24038859

  1. Epigenetic modification maintains intrinsic limb-cell identity in Xenopus limb bud regeneration.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Shinichi; Kawaguchi, Akane; Uchiyama, Ikuo; Kawasumi-Kita, Aiko; Kobayashi, Takuya; Nishide, Hiroyo; Tsutsumi, Rio; Tsuru, Kazuhiko; Inoue, Takeshi; Ogino, Hajime; Agata, Kiyokazu; Tamura, Koji; Yokoyama, Hitoshi

    2015-10-15

    Many amphibians can regenerate limbs, even in adulthood. If a limb is amputated, the stump generates a blastema that makes a complete, new limb in a process similar to developmental morphogenesis. The blastema is thought to inherit its limb-patterning properties from cells in the stump, and it retains the information despite changes in morphology, gene expression, and differentiation states required by limb regeneration. We hypothesized that these cellular properties are maintained as epigenetic memory through histone modifications. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed genome-wide histone modifications in Xenopus limb bud regeneration. The trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) is closely related to an open chromatin structure that allows transcription factors access to genes, whereas the trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27me3) is related to a closed chromatin state that blocks the access of transcription factors. We compared these two modification profiles by high-throughput sequencing of samples prepared from the intact limb bud and the regenerative blastema by chromatin immunoprecipitation. For many developmental genes, histone modifications at the transcription start site were the same in the limb bud and the blastema, were stable during regeneration, and corresponded well to limb properties. These results support our hypothesis that histone modifications function as a heritable cellular memory to maintain limb cell properties, despite dynamic changes in gene expression during limb bud regeneration in Xenopus. PMID:26282893

  2. Adenine methylation in eukaryotes: Apprehending the complex evolutionary history and functional potential of an epigenetic modification.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Lakshminarayan M; Zhang, Dapeng; Aravind, L

    2016-01-01

    While N(6) -methyladenosine (m(6) A) is a well-known epigenetic modification in bacterial DNA, it remained largely unstudied in eukaryotes. Recent studies have brought to fore its potential epigenetic role across diverse eukaryotes with biological consequences, which are distinct and possibly even opposite to the well-studied 5-methylcytosine mark. Adenine methyltransferases appear to have been independently acquired by eukaryotes on at least 13 occasions from prokaryotic restriction-modification and counter-restriction systems. On at least four to five instances, these methyltransferases were recruited as RNA methylases. Thus, m(6) A marks in eukaryotic DNA and RNA might be more widespread and diversified than previously believed. Several m(6) A-binding protein domains from prokaryotes were also acquired by eukaryotes, facilitating prediction of potential readers for these marks. Further, multiple lineages of the AlkB family of dioxygenases have been recruited as m(6) A demethylases. Although members of the TET/JBP family of dioxygenases have also been suggested to be m(6) A demethylases, this proposal needs more careful evaluation. Also watch the Video Abstract. PMID:26660621

  3. Effect of mycotoxin-containing diets on epigenetic modifications of mouse oocytes by fluorescence microscopy analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Cheng-Cheng; Hou, Yan-Jun; Han, Jun; Liu, Hong-Lin; Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2014-08-01

    Mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin (AF), fumonisin B1, zearalenone (ZEA), and deoxynivalenol (DON), are commonly found in many food commodities. Mycotoxins have been shown to increase DNA methylation levels in a human intestinal cell line. We previously showed that the developmental competence of oocytes was affected in mice that had been fed a mycotoxin-containing diet. In this study, we explored possible mechanisms of low mouse oocyte developmental competence after mycotoxin treatment in an epigenetic modification perspective. Mycotoxin-contaminated maize (DON at 3,875 μg/kg, ZEA at 1,897 μg/kg, and AF at 806 μg/kg) was included in diets at three different doses (mass percentage: 0, 15, and 30%) and fed to mice for 4 weeks. The fluorescence intensity analysis showed that the general DNA methylation levels increased in oocytes from high dose mycotoxin-fed mice. Mouse oocyte histone methylation was also altered. H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 level increased in oocytes from mycotoxin-fed mice, whereas H3K27me3 and H4K20me2 level decreased in oocytes from mycotoxin-fed mice. Thus, our results indicate that naturally occurring mycotoxins have effects on epigenetic modifications in mouse oocytes, which may be one of the reasons for reduced oocyte developmental competence. PMID:24810297

  4. Adenine methylation in eukaryotes: Apprehending the complex evolutionary history and functional potential of an epigenetic modification

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Lakshminarayan M.; Zhang, Dapeng

    2015-01-01

    While N6‐methyladenosine (m6A) is a well‐known epigenetic modification in bacterial DNA, it remained largely unstudied in eukaryotes. Recent studies have brought to fore its potential epigenetic role across diverse eukaryotes with biological consequences, which are distinct and possibly even opposite to the well‐studied 5‐methylcytosine mark. Adenine methyltransferases appear to have been independently acquired by eukaryotes on at least 13 occasions from prokaryotic restriction‐modification and counter‐restriction systems. On at least four to five instances, these methyltransferases were recruited as RNA methylases. Thus, m6A marks in eukaryotic DNA and RNA might be more widespread and diversified than previously believed. Several m6A‐binding protein domains from prokaryotes were also acquired by eukaryotes, facilitating prediction of potential readers for these marks. Further, multiple lineages of the AlkB family of dioxygenases have been recruited as m6A demethylases. Although members of the TET/JBP family of dioxygenases have also been suggested to be m6A demethylases, this proposal needs more careful evaluation. Also watch the Video Abstract. PMID:26660621

  5. Epigenetic histone modification regulates developmental lead exposure induced hyperactivity in rats.

    PubMed

    Luo, Man; Xu, Yi; Cai, Rong; Tang, Yuqing; Ge, Meng-Meng; Liu, Zhi-Hua; Xu, Li; Hu, Fan; Ruan, Di-Yun; Wang, Hui-Li

    2014-02-10

    Lead (Pb) exposure was commonly considered as a high environmental risk factor for the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the molecular basis of this pathological process still remains elusive. In light of the role of epigenetics in modulating the neurological disease and the causative environment, the alterations of histone modifications in the hippocampus of rats exposed by various doses of lead, along with concomitant behavioral deficits, were investigated in this study. According to the free and forced open field test, there showed that in a dosage-dependent manner, lead exposure could result in the increased locomotor activity of rats, that is, hyperactivity: a subtype of ADHD. Western blotting assays revealed that the levels of histone acetylation increased significantly in the hippocampus by chronic lead exposure, while no dramatic changes were detected in terms of expression yields of ADHD-related dopaminergic proteins, indicating that histone acetylation plays essential roles in this toxicant-involved pathogenesis. In addition, the increased level of histone acetylation might be attributed to the enzymatic activity of p300, a typical histone acetyltransferase, as the transcriptional level of p300 was significantly increased upon higher-dose Pb exposure. In summary, this study first discovered the epigenetic mechanism bridging the environmental influence (Pb) and the disease itself (ADHD) in the histone modification level, paving the way for the comprehensive understanding of ADHD's etiology and in further steps, establishing the therapy strategy of this widespread neurological disorder. PMID:24291742

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  8. Virtual screening in small molecule discovery for epigenetic targets.

    PubMed

    Li, Guo-Bo; Yang, Ling-Ling; Yuan, Yiming; Zou, Jun; Cao, Yu; Yang, Sheng-Yong; Xiang, Rong; Xiang, Mingli

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are critical mechanisms that regulate many biological processes and establish normal cellular phenotypes. Aberrant epigenetic modifications are frequently linked to the development and maintenance of several diseases including cancer, inflammation and metabolic diseases and so on. The key proteins that mediate epigenetic modifications have been thus recognized as potential therapeutic targets for these diseases. Consequently, discovery of small molecule inhibitors for epigenetic targets has received considerable attention in recent years. Here, virtual screening methods and their applications in the discovery of epigenetic target inhibitors are the focus of this review. Newly emerging approaches or strategies including rescoring methods, docking pose filtering methods, machine learning methods and 3D molecular similarity methods were also underlined. They are expected to be employed for identifying novel inhibitors targeting epigenetic regulation more efficiently. PMID:25462557

  9. Prostate cancer: The main risk and protective factors-Epigenetic modifications.

    PubMed

    Adjakly, Mawussi; Ngollo, Marjolaine; Dagdemir, Aslihan; Judes, Gaëlle; Pajon, Amaury; Karsli-Ceppioglu, Seher; Penault-Llorca, Frédérique; Boiteux, Jean-Paul; Bignon, Yves-Jean; Guy, Laurent; Bernard-Gallon, Dominique

    2015-02-01

    With 13 million new cases worldwide every year, prostate cancer is as a very real public health concern. Prostate cancer is common in over-50s men and the sixth-leading cause of cancer-related death in men worldwide. Like all cancers, prostate cancer is multifactorial - there are non-modifiable risk factors like heredity, ethnicity and geographic location, but also modifiable risk factors such as diet. Diet-cancer linkages have risen to prominence in the last few years, with accruing epidemiological data pointing to between-population incidence differentials in numerous cancers. Indeed, there are correlations between fat-rich diet and risk of hormone-dependent cancers like prostate cancer and breast cancer. Diet is a risk factor for prostate cancer, but certain micronutrients in specific diets are considered protective factors against prostate cancer. Examples include tomato lycopene, green tea epigallocatechin gallate, and soy phytoestrogens. These micronutrients are thought to exert cancer-protective effects via anti-oxidant pathways and inhibition of cell proliferation. Here, we focus in on the effects of phytoestrogens, and chiefly genistein and daidzein, which are the best-researched to date. Soy phytoestrogens are nonsteroid molecules whose structural similarity lends them the ability to mimic the effects of 17ß-estradiol. On top of anti-oxidant effects, there is evidence that soy phytoestrogens can modulate the epigenetic modifications found in prostate cancer. We also studied the impact of phytoestrogens on epigenetic modifications in prostate cancer, with special focus on DNA methylation, miRNA-mediated regulation and histone modifications. PMID:25592466

  10. Term myometrium is characterized by increased activating epigenetic modifications at the progesterone receptor-A promoter.

    PubMed

    Chai, S Y; Smith, R; Zakar, T; Mitchell, C; Madsen, G

    2012-08-01

    Term human myometrial expression of progesterone receptor (PR)-A is increased relative to PR-B, and as PR-A is a repressor of progesterone action mediated through PR-B, this increase may mediate the withdrawal of progesterone action and precipitate the onset of labour. PR-A and PR-B expression is regulated by two separate promoters of the PR gene. We hypothesized that epigenetic histone modifications at the two promoters contribute to the labour-associated regulation of PR-A and PR-B expression in term myometrium. PR total, PR-B and PR-A mRNA levels were determined using quantitative real-time PCR, and chromatin immunoprecipitation was used to determine the levels of activating and repressive histone modifications at the PR-A and PR-B promoters in human myometrial samples not in labour (n = 4) and in labour (n = 4). Chromatin extracts were immunoprecipitated with antibodies against activating (histone H3 and H4 acetylation and histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation), and repressive (histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation, histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation and asymmetrical histone H3 arginine 2 dimethylation) histone modifications. PR-A mRNA levels increased during labour, while PR-B mRNA levels remained constant resulting in an increase of PR-A/PR-B mRNA ratio, as expected. Regardless of labour status, significantly higher levels of the activating histone modifications were found at the PR-A promoter compared with the PR-B promoter (P <0.001). H3K4me3 increased significantly at both promoters with labour onset (P =0.001). Low levels of the repressive histone modifications were also present at both promoters, with no labour-associated changes observed. Our data indicate that the PR-A promoter is epigenetically marked for activation in term myometrium more extensively than the PR-B promoter, and that labour is associated with an increase in H3K4me3 activating modification, consistent with the previously described increase in PR protein at this time. PMID:22369759

  11. 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. PMID:25572405

  12. Epigenetic mechanisms in heart development and disease

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25572405

  13. Regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition through epigenetic and post-translational modifications.

    PubMed

    Serrano-Gomez, Silvia Juliana; Maziveyi, Mazvita; Alahari, Suresh K

    2016-01-01

    The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a biological process in which a non-motile epithelial cell changes to a mesenchymal phenotype with invasive capacities. This phenomenon has been well documented in multiple biological processes including embryogenesis, fibrosis, tumor progression and metastasis. The hallmark of EMT is the loss of epithelial surface markers, most notably E-cadherin, and the acquisition of mesenchymal markers including vimentin and N-cadherin. The downregulation of E-cadherin during EMT can be mediated by its transcriptional repression through the binding of EMT transcription factors (EMT-TFs) such as SNAIL, SLUG and TWIST to E-boxes present in the E-cadherin promoter. Additionally, EMT-TFs can also cooperate with several enzymes to repress the expression of E-cadherin and regulate EMT at the epigenetic and post- translational level. In this review, we will focus on epigenetic and post- translational modifications that are important in EMT. In addition, we will provide an overview of the various therapeutic approaches currently being investigated to undermine EMT and hence, the metastatic progression of cancer as well. PMID:26905733

  14. Relationship of immunohistochemistry, copy number aberrations and epigenetic disorders with BRCAness pattern in hereditary and sporadic breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Murria Estal, Rosa; Palanca Suela, Sarai; de Juan Jiménez, Inmaculada; Alenda Gonzalez, Cristina; Egoavil Rojas, Cecilia; García-Casado, Zaida; López Guerrero, Jose Antonio; Juan Fita, María José; Sánchez Heras, Ana Beatriz; Segura Huerta, Ángel; Santaballa Bertrán, Ana; Chirivella González, Isabel; Llop García, Marta; Pérez Simó, Gema; Barragán González, Eva; Bolufer Gilabert, Pascual

    2016-04-01

    The study aims to identify the relevance of immunohistochemistry (IHC), copy number aberrations (CNA) and epigenetic disorders in BRCAness breast cancers (BCs). We studied 95 paraffin included BCs, of which 41 carried BRCA1/BRCA2 germline mutations and 54 were non hereditary (BRCAX/Sporadic). Samples were assessed for BRCA1ness and CNAs by Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA); promoter methylation (PM) was assessed by methylation-specific-MLPA and the expression of miR-4417, miR-423-3p, miR-590-5p and miR-187-3p by quantitative RT-PCR. IHC markers Ki67, ER, PR, HER2, CK5/6, EGFR and CK18 were detected with specific primary antibodies (DAKO, Denmark). BRCAness association with covariates was performed using multivariate binary logistic regression (stepwise backwards Wald option). BRCA1/2 mutational status (p = 0.027), large tumor size (p = 0.041) and advanced histological grade (p = 0.017) among clinic-pathological variables; ER (p < 0.001) among IHC markers; MYC (p < 0.001) among CNA; APC (p = 0.065), ATM (p = 0.014) and RASSF1 (p = 0.044) among PM; and miR-590-5p (p = 0.001), miR-4417 (p = 0.019) and miR-423 (p = 0.013) among microRNA expression, were the selected parameters significantly related with the BRCAness status. The logistic regression performed with all these parameters selected ER+ as linked with the lack of BRCAness (p = 0.001) and MYC CNA, APC PM and miR-590-5p expression with BRCAness (p = 0.014, 0.045 and 0.007, respectively). In conclusion, the parameters ER expression, APC PM, MYC CNA and miR-590-5p expression, allowed detection of most BRCAness BCs. The identification of BRCAness can help establish a personalized medicine addressed to predict the response to specific treatments. PMID:26723934

  15. BRCA somatic mutations and epigenetic BRCA modifications in serous ovarian cancer.

    PubMed

    Moschetta, M; George, A; Kaye, S B; Banerjee, S

    2016-08-01

    The significant activity of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) inhibitors in the treatment of germline BRCA mutation-associated ovarian cancer, which represents ∼15% of HGS cases, has recently led to European Medicines Agency and food and drug administration approval of olaparib. Accumulating evidence suggests that PARP inhibitors may have a wider application in the treatment of sporadic ovarian cancers. Up to 50% of HGS ovarian cancer patients may exhibit homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) through mechanisms including germline BRCA mutations, somatic BRCA mutations, and BRCA promoter methylation. In this review, we discuss the role of somatic BRCA mutations and BRCA methylation in ovarian cancer. There is accumulating evidence for routine somatic BRCA mutation testing, but the relevance of BRCA epigenetic modifications is less clear. We explore the challenges that need to be addressed if the full potential of these markers of HRD is to be utilised in clinical practice. PMID:27037296

  16. Epigenetic and Posttranslational Modifications in Light Signal Transduction and the Circadian Clock in Neurospora crassa

    PubMed Central

    Proietto, Marco; Bianchi, Michele Maria; Ballario, Paola; Brenna, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Blue light, a key abiotic signal, regulates a wide variety of physiological processes in many organisms. One of these phenomena is the circadian rhythm presents in organisms sensitive to the phase-setting effects of blue light and under control of the daily alternation of light and dark. Circadian clocks consist of autoregulatory alternating negative and positive feedback loops intimately connected with the cellular metabolism and biochemical processes. Neurospora crassa provides an excellent model for studying the molecular mechanisms involved in these phenomena. The White Collar Complex (WCC), a blue-light receptor and transcription factor of the circadian oscillator, and Frequency (FRQ), the circadian clock pacemaker, are at the core of the Neurospora circadian system. The eukaryotic circadian clock relies on transcriptional/translational feedback loops: some proteins rhythmically repress their own synthesis by inhibiting the activity of their transcriptional factors, generating self-sustained oscillations over a period of about 24 h. One of the basic mechanisms that perpetuate self-sustained oscillations is post translation modification (PTM). The acronym PTM generically indicates the addition of acetyl, methyl, sumoyl, or phosphoric groups to various types of proteins. The protein can be regulatory or enzymatic or a component of the chromatin. PTMs influence protein stability, interaction, localization, activity, and chromatin packaging. Chromatin modification and PTMs have been implicated in regulating circadian clock function in Neurospora. Research into the epigenetic control of transcription factors such as WCC has yielded new insights into the temporal modulation of light-dependent gene transcription. Here we report on epigenetic and protein PTMs in the regulation of the Neurospora crassa circadian clock. We also present a model that illustrates the molecular mechanisms at the basis of the blue light control of the circadian clock. PMID:26198228

  17. Genome-wide 5-hydroxymethylcytosine modification pattern is a novel epigenetic feature of globozoospermia.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiu-Xia; Sun, Bao-Fa; Jiao, Jiao; Chong, Ze-Chen; Chen, Yu-Shen; Wang, Xiao-Li; Zhao, Yue; Zhou, Yi-Ming; Li, Da

    2015-03-30

    Discovery of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) in mammalian genomes has excited the field of epigenetics, but information on the genome-wide distribution of 5hmC is limited. Globozoospermia is a rare but severe cause of male infertility. To date, the epigenetic mechanism, especially 5hmC profiles involved in globozoospermia progression, remains largely unknown. Here, utilizing the chemical labeling and biotin-enrichment approach followed by Illumina HiSeq sequencing, we showed that (i) 6664, 9029 and 6318 genes contain 5hmC in normal, abnormal, and globozoospermia sperm, respectively; (ii) some 5hmC-containing genes significantly involves in spermatogenesis, sperm motility and morphology, and gamete generation; (iii) 5hmC is exclusively localized in sperm intron; (iv) approximately 40% imprinted genes have 5hmC modification in sperm genomes, but globozoospermia sperm exhibiting a large portion of imprinted genes lose the 5hmC modification; (v) six imprinted genes showed different 5hmC patterns in abnormal sperm (GDAP1L1, GNAS, KCNK9, LIN28B, RB1, RTL1), and five imprinted genes showed different 5hmC patterns in globozoospermia sperm (KCNK9, LIN28B, RB1, SLC22A18, ZDBF2). These results suggested that differences in genome-wide 5hmC patterns may in part be responsible for the sperm phenotype. All of this may improve our understanding of the basic molecular mechanism underlying sperm biology and the etiology of male infertility. PMID:25762640

  18. Epigenetic Modifications of the PGC-1α Promoter during Exercise Induced Expression in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Lochmann, Timothy L.; Thomas, Ravindar R.; Bennett, James P.; Taylor, Shirley M.

    2015-01-01

    The transcriptional coactivator, PGC-1α, is known for its role in mitochondrial biogenesis. Although originally thought to exist as a single protein isoform, recent studies have identified additional promoters which produce multiple mRNA transcripts. One of these promoters (promoter B), approximately 13.7kb upstream of the canonical PGC-1α promoter (promoter A), yields alternative transcripts present at levels much lower than the canonical PGC-1α mRNA transcript. In skeletal muscle, exercise resulted in a substantial, rapid increase of mRNA of these alternative PGC-1α transcripts. Although the β2-adrenergic receptor was identified as a signaling pathway that activates transcription from PGC-1α promoter B, it is not yet known what molecular changes occur to facilitate PGC-1α promoter B activation following exercise. We sought to determine whether epigenetic modifications were involved in this exercise response in mouse skeletal muscle. We found that DNA hydroxymethylation correlated to increased basal mRNA levels from PGC-1α promoter A, but that DNA methylation appeared to play no role in the exercise-induced activation of PGC-1α promoter B. The level of the activating histone mark H3K4me3 increased with exercise 2–4 fold across PGC-1α promoter B, but remained unaltered past the canonical PGC-1α transcriptional start site. Together, these data show that epigenetic modifications partially explain exercise-induced changes in the skeletal muscle mRNA levels of PGC-1α isoforms. PMID:26053857

  19. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Bardhan, Kankana; Liu, Kebin

    2013-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) develops through a multistage process that results from the progressive accumulation of genetic mutations, and frequently as a result of mutations in the Wnt signaling pathway. However, it has become evident over the past two decades that epigenetic alterations of the chromatin, particularly the chromatin components in the promoter regions of tumor suppressors and oncogenes, play key roles in CRC pathogenesis. Epigenetic regulation is organized at multiple levels, involving primarily DNA methylation and selective histone modifications in cancer cells. Assessment of the CRC epigenome has revealed that virtually all CRCs have aberrantly methylated genes and that the average CRC methylome has thousands of abnormally methylated genes. Although relatively less is known about the patterns of specific histone modifications in CRC, selective histone modifications and resultant chromatin conformation have been shown to act, in concert with DNA methylation, to regulate gene expression to mediate CRC pathogenesis. Moreover, it is now clear that not only DNA methylation but also histone modifications are reversible processes. The increased understanding of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the context of CRC pathogenesis has led to development of epigenetic biomarkers for CRC diagnosis and epigenetic drugs for CRC therapy. PMID:24216997

  20. Epigenetics modifications and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The EPIOSA study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Epidemiological and animal models studies generate hypotheses for innovative strategies in OSA management by interfering intermediates mechanisms associated with cardiovascular complications. We have thus initiated the Epigenetics modification in Obstructive Sleep Apnea (EPIOSA) study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02131610). Methods/design EPIOSA is a prospective cohort study aiming to recruit 350 participants of caucasian ethnicity and free of other chronic or inflammatory diseases: 300 patients with prevalent OSA and 50 non-OSA subjects. All of them will be follow-up for at least 5 years. Recruitment and study visits are performed in single University-based sleep clinic using standard operating procedures. At baseline and at each one year follow-up examination, patients are subjected to a core phenotyping protocol. This includes a standardized questionnaire and physical examination to determine incident comorbidities and health resources utilization, with a primary focus on cardiovascular events. Confirmatory outcomes information is requested from patient records and the regional Department of Health Services. Every year, OSA status will be assessed by full sleep study and blood samples will be obtained for immediate standard biochemistry, hematology, inflammatory cytokines and cytometry analysis. For biobanking, aliquots of serum, plasma, urine, mRNA and DNA are also obtained. Bilateral carotid echography will be performed to assess subclinical atherosclerosis and atherosclerosis progression. OSA patients are treated according with national guidelines. Discussion EPIOSA will enable the prospective evaluation of inflammatory and epigenetics mechanism involved in cardiovascular complication of treated and non-treated patients with OSA compared with non OSA subjects. PMID:25016368

  1. Epigenetic Modifications and Accumulation of DNA Double-Strand Breaks in Oral Lichen Planus Lesions Presenting Poor Response to Therapy.

    PubMed

    Dillenburg, Caroline S; Martins, Marco A T; Almeida, Luciana O; Meurer, Luise; Squarize, Cristiane H; Martins, Manoela D; Castilho, Rogerio M

    2015-07-01

    Epigenetics refers to changes in cell characteristics that occur independently of modifications to the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence. Alterations mediated by epigenetic mechanisms are important factors in cancer progression. Although an exciting prospect, the identification of early epigenetic markers associated with clinical outcome in premalignant and malignant disorders remains elusive. We examined alterations in chromatin acetylation in oral lichen planus (OLP) with distinct clinical behavior and compared the alterations to the levels of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). We analyzed 42 OLP patients, who had different responses to therapy, for acetyl-histone H3 at lys9 (H3K9ac), which is associated with enhanced transcription and nuclear decondensation, and the presence of DSBs, as determined by accumulation of phosphorylated γH2AX foci. Patients with high levels of H3K9ac acetylation failed to respond to therapy or experienced disease recurrence shortly after therapy. Similar to H3K9ac, patients who responded poorly to therapy had increased accumulation of DNA DSB, indicating genomic instability. These findings suggest that histone modifications occur in OLP, and H3K9ac and γH2AX histones may serve as epigenetic markers for OLP recurrence. PMID:26222871

  2. Epigenetic Modifications and Accumulation of DNA Double-Strand Breaks in Oral Lichen Planus Lesions Presenting Poor Response to Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Dillenburg, Caroline S.; Martins, Marco A.T.; Almeida, Luciana O.; Meurer, Luise; Squarize, Cristiane H.; Martins, Manoela D.; Castilho, Rogerio M.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Epigenetics refers to changes in cell characteristics that occur independently of modifications to the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence. Alterations mediated by epigenetic mechanisms are important factors in cancer progression. Although an exciting prospect, the identification of early epigenetic markers associated with clinical outcome in premalignant and malignant disorders remains elusive. We examined alterations in chromatin acetylation in oral lichen planus (OLP) with distinct clinical behavior and compared the alterations to the levels of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). We analyzed 42 OLP patients, who had different responses to therapy, for acetyl-histone H3 at lys9 (H3K9ac), which is associated with enhanced transcription and nuclear decondensation, and the presence of DSBs, as determined by accumulation of phosphorylated γH2AX foci. Patients with high levels of H3K9ac acetylation failed to respond to therapy or experienced disease recurrence shortly after therapy. Similar to H3K9ac, patients who responded poorly to therapy had increased accumulation of DNA DSB, indicating genomic instability. These findings suggest that histone modifications occur in OLP, and H3K9ac and γH2AX histones may serve as epigenetic markers for OLP recurrence. PMID:26222871

  3. Detection of Epigenetic Modifications During Microspore Embryogenesis: Analysis of DNA Methylation Patterns Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Testillano, Pilar S; Risueño, María Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Methylation of 5-deoxy-cytidines of DNA constitutes a prominent epigenetic modification of the chromatin fiber which is locked in a transcriptionally inactive conformation. Changes in global DNA methylation are involved in many plant developmental processes during proliferation and differentiation events. The analysis of the changes of global DNA methylation distribution patterns during microspore embryogenesis induction and progression will inform on the regulatory mechanisms of the process, helping in the design of protocols to improve its efficiency in different species. To investigate the DNA methylation dynamics during microspore embryogenesis in the different cell types present in the cultures, the analysis of spatial and temporal pattern of nuclear distribution of 5-methyl-deoxy-cytidine (5mdC) constitutes a potent approach. The immunolocalization of 5mdC on sections and subsequent confocal laser microscopy analysis have been developed for in situ cellular analysis of a variety of plant samples, including embryogenic microspore and anther cultures. Quantification of 5mdC immunofluorescence intensity by image analysis software also permits to estimate differences in global DNA methylation levels among different cell types during development. PMID:26619883

  4. Genomic Aberrations Drive Clonal Evolution of Neuroendocrine Tumors.

    PubMed

    Kaushik, Akash Kumar; Sreekumar, Arun

    2016-05-01

    Molecular features of castration-resistant neuroendocrine prostate cancer (CRPC-NE) are not well characterized. A recent study that investigated genomic aberrations of CRPC-NE tumors suggests their clonal evolution from CRPC adenocarcinoma. Furthermore, the existence of a distinct DNA methylation profile in CRPC-NE implicates a critical role for epigenetic modification in the development of CRPC-NE. PMID:27037211

  5. Histone modifications patterns in tissues and tumours from acute promyelocytic leukemia xenograft model in response to combined epigenetic therapy.

    PubMed

    Valiulienė, Giedrė; Treigytė, Gražina; Savickienė, Jūratė; Matuzevičius, Dalius; Alksnė, Milda; Jarašienė-Burinskaja, Rasa; Bukelskienė, Virginija; Navakauskas, Dalius; Navakauskienė, Rūta

    2016-04-01

    Xenograft models are suitable for in vivo study of leukemia's pathogenesis and the preclinical development of anti-leukemia agents but understanding of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms linking to adult cell functions in pathological conditions during different in vivo treatments is yet unknown. In this study, for the first time epigenetic chromatin modifications were characterized in tissues and tumours from murine xenograft model generated using the human acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) NB4 cells engrafted in immunodeficient NOG mice. Xenografts were subjected to combined epigenetic treatment by histone deacetylase inhibitor Belinostat, histone methyltransferase inhibitor 3-DZNeaplanocin A and all-trans-retinoic acid based on in vitro model, where such combination inhibited NB4 cell growth and enhanced retinoic acid-induced differentiation to granulocytes. Xenotransplantation was assessed by peripheral blood cells counts, the analysis of cell surface markers (CD15, CD33, CD45) and the expression of certain genes (PML-RAR alpha, CSF3, G-CSFR, WT1). The combined treatment prolonged APL xenograft mice survival and prevented tumour formation. The analysis of the expression of histone marks such as acetylation of H4, trimethylation of H3K4, H3K9 and H3K27 in APL xenograft mice tumours and tissues demonstrated tissue-specific changes in the level of histone modifications and the APL prognostic mark, WT1 protein. In summary, the effects of epigenetic agents used in this study were positive for leukemia prevention and linked to a modulation of the chromatin epigenetic environment in adult tissues of malignant organism. PMID:27044813

  6. Studying Epigenetic DNA Modifications in Undergraduate Laboratories Using Complementary Bioinformatic and Molecular Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Militello, Kevin T.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic inheritance is the inheritance of genetic information that is not based on DNA sequence alone. One type of epigenetic information that has come to the forefront in the last few years is modified DNA bases. The most common modified DNA base in nature is 5-methylcytosine. Herein, we describe a laboratory experiment that combines…

  7. Epigenetic modifications on X chromosomes in marsupial and monotreme mammals and implications for evolution of dosage compensation

    PubMed Central

    Rens, Willem; Wallduck, Margaret S.; Lovell, Frances L.; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A.; Ferguson-Smith, Anne C.

    2010-01-01

    X chromosome dosage compensation in female eutherian mammals is regulated by the noncoding Xist RNA and is associated with the differential acquisition of active and repressive histone modifications, resulting in repression of most genes on one of the two X chromosome homologs. Marsupial mammals exhibit dosage compensation; however, they lack Xist, and the mechanisms conferring epigenetic control of X chromosome dosage compensation remain elusive. Oviparous mammals, the monotremes, have multiple X chromosomes, and it is not clear whether they undergo dosage compensation and whether there is epigenetic dimorphism between homologous pairs in female monotremes. Here, using antibodies against DNA methylation, eight different histone modifications, and HP1, we conduct immunofluorescence on somatic cells of the female Australian marsupial possum Trichosurus vulpecula, the female platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus, and control mouse cells. The two marsupial X's were different for all epigenetic features tested. In particular, unlike in the mouse, both repressive modifications, H3K9me3 and H4K20Me3, are enriched on one of the X chromosomes, and this is associated with the presence of HP1 and hypomethylation of DNA. Using sequential labeling, we determine that this DNA hypomethylated X correlates with histone marks of inactivity. These results suggest that female marsupials use a repressive histone-mediated inactivation mechanism and that this may represent an ancestral dosage compensation process that differs from eutherians that require Xist transcription and DNA methylation. In comparison to the marsupial, the monotreme exhibited no epigenetic differences between homologous X chromosomes, suggesting the absence of a dosage compensation process comparable to that in therians. PMID:20861449

  8. Epigenetic modifications on X chromosomes in marsupial and monotreme mammals and implications for evolution of dosage compensation.

    PubMed

    Rens, Willem; Wallduck, Margaret S; Lovell, Frances L; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Ferguson-Smith, Anne C

    2010-10-12

    X chromosome dosage compensation in female eutherian mammals is regulated by the noncoding Xist RNA and is associated with the differential acquisition of active and repressive histone modifications, resulting in repression of most genes on one of the two X chromosome homologs. Marsupial mammals exhibit dosage compensation; however, they lack Xist, and the mechanisms conferring epigenetic control of X chromosome dosage compensation remain elusive. Oviparous mammals, the monotremes, have multiple X chromosomes, and it is not clear whether they undergo dosage compensation and whether there is epigenetic dimorphism between homologous pairs in female monotremes. Here, using antibodies against DNA methylation, eight different histone modifications, and HP1, we conduct immunofluorescence on somatic cells of the female Australian marsupial possum Trichosurus vulpecula, the female platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus, and control mouse cells. The two marsupial X's were different for all epigenetic features tested. In particular, unlike in the mouse, both repressive modifications, H3K9me3 and H4K20Me3, are enriched on one of the X chromosomes, and this is associated with the presence of HP1 and hypomethylation of DNA. Using sequential labeling, we determine that this DNA hypomethylated X correlates with histone marks of inactivity. These results suggest that female marsupials use a repressive histone-mediated inactivation mechanism and that this may represent an ancestral dosage compensation process that differs from eutherians that require Xist transcription and DNA methylation. In comparison to the marsupial, the monotreme exhibited no epigenetic differences between homologous X chromosomes, suggesting the absence of a dosage compensation process comparable to that in therians. PMID:20861449

  9. Epigenetic modification of the oxytocin receptor gene influences the perception of anger and fear in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Puglia, Meghan H; Lillard, Travis S; Morris, James P; Connelly, Jessica J

    2015-03-17

    In humans, the neuropeptide oxytocin plays a critical role in social and emotional behavior. The actions of this molecule are dependent on a protein that acts as its receptor, which is encoded by the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR). DNA methylation of OXTR, an epigenetic modification, directly influences gene transcription and is variable in humans. However, the impact of this variability on specific social behaviors is unknown. We hypothesized that variability in OXTR methylation impacts social perceptual processes often linked with oxytocin, such as perception of facial emotions. Using an imaging epigenetic approach, we established a relationship between OXTR methylation and neural activity in response to emotional face processing. Specifically, high levels of OXTR methylation were associated with greater amounts of activity in regions associated with face and emotion processing including amygdala, fusiform, and insula. Importantly, we found that these higher levels of OXTR methylation were also associated with decreased functional coupling of amygdala with regions involved in affect appraisal and emotion regulation. These data indicate that the human endogenous oxytocin system is involved in attenuation of the fear response, corroborating research implicating intranasal oxytocin in the same processes. Our findings highlight the importance of including epigenetic mechanisms in the description of the endogenous oxytocin system and further support a central role for oxytocin in social cognition. This approach linking epigenetic variability with neural endophenotypes may broadly explain individual differences in phenotype including susceptibility or resilience to disease. PMID:25675509

  10. Regulation of Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 by Epigenetic Modifications and the Development of Diabetic Retinopathy

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Qing; Kowluru, Renu A.

    2013-01-01

    Diabetes activates retinal matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and MMP-9 damages the mitochondria and augments capillary cell apoptosis. Our aim is to elucidate the mechanism responsible for MMP-9 activation. Histone modifications and recruitment of the nuclear transcriptional factor-κB (p65 subunit) at the MMP-9 promoter and the activity of lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) were measured in the retina from streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. The role of LSD1 in MMP-9 activation was investigated in isolated retinal endothelial cells transfected with LSD1 small interfering RNA (siRNA). The results were confirmed in the retina from human donors with diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes decreased histone H3 dimethyl lysine 9 (H3K9me2) and increased acetyl H3K9 (Ac-H3K9) and p65 at the retinal MMP-9 promoter. LSD1 enzyme activity and its transcripts were elevated. LSD1 siRNA ameliorated the glucose-induced decrease in H3K9me2 and increase in p65 at the MMP-9 promoter, and prevented MMP-9 activation, mitochondrial damage, and cell apoptosis. Human donors with diabetic retinopathy had similar epigenetic changes at the MMP-9 promoter. Thus, activated LSD1 hypomethylates H3K9 at the MMP-9 promoter and this frees up that lysine 9 for acetylation. Increased Ac-H3K9 facilitates the recruitment of p65, resulting in MMP-9 activation and mitochondrial damage. Thus, the regulation of LSD1 by molecular or pharmacological means has the potential to retard the development of diabetic retinopathy. PMID:23423566

  11. Male Germ Cell Apoptosis and Epigenetic Histone Modification Induced by Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Guangming; Wang, Shuzeng; He, Liqun; Chen, Haifeng; Wu, Ji

    2011-01-01

    Multiglycosides of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook f (GTW), a Chinese herb-derived medicine used as a remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, are considered to be a reversible anti-fertility drug affecting the mammalian spermatids. However, the mechanism behind this effect is still unknown. To study the possible mechanism behind the impact of GTW on spermatogenesis, we administered 4 groups of 4-week-old male mice with different doses of GTW. We found a dose-dependent decrease in the number of germ cells after 40 days of GTW treatment, and an increase in apoptotic cells from the low-dose to the high-dose group. During this same period the dimethylated level of histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9me2) in GTW-treated testes germ cells declined. Additionally, spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) from 6-day-old mice were isolated to evaluate the possible effect of GTW or triptolide on development of SSCs. We found a significantly higher incidence of apoptosis and lower dimethylation level of H3K9me2 in the SSCs of GTW or triptolide treatment than in controls. Thus, these data suggest that the GTW-induced apoptosis might be responsible for the fertility impairment in mice. This damage could be traced back to the early stages of spermatogenesis. GTW also affected the epigenetic modification of H3K9 in spermatogenesis. Molecular dynamics simulation suggested that triptolide and dimethylated or trimethylated H3K9 might have similar interaction mechanisms with EED (embryonic ectoderm development). These candidate activation mechanisms provide the first glimpse into the pathway of GTW-induced gonad toxicity, which is crucial for further research and clinical application. PMID:21698297

  12. Exposure of Human Prostaspheres to Bisphenol A Epigenetically Regulates SNORD Family Noncoding RNAs via Histone Modification.

    PubMed

    Ho, Shuk-Mei; Cheong, Ana; Lam, Hung-Ming; Hu, Wen-Yang; Shi, Guang-Bin; Zhu, Xuegong; Chen, Jing; Zhang, Xiang; Medvedovic, Mario; Leung, Yuet-Kin; Prins, Gail S

    2015-11-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is a ubiquitous endocrine disruptor exerting lifelong effects on gene expression in rodent prostate cancer (PCa) models. Here, we aimed to determine whether epigenetic events mediating the action of BPA on human prostaspheres enriched in epithelial stem-like/progenitor cells is linked to PCa. We performed genome-wide transcriptome and methylome analyses to identify changes in prostaspheres treated with BPA (10 nM, 200 nM, and 1000 nM) or estradiol-17β (E2) (0.1 nM) for 7 days and validated changes in expression, methylation, and histone marks in parallel-treated prostaspheres. BPA/E2-treatment altered expression of 91 genes but not the methylation status of 485,000 CpG sites in BPA/E2-treated prostaspheres. A panel of 26 genes was found repressed in all treatment groups. Fifteen of them were small nucleolar RNAs with C/D motif (SNORDs), which are noncoding, small nucleolar RNAs known to regulate ribosomal RNA assembly and function. Ten of the most down-regulated SNORDs were further studied. All 10 were confirmed repressed by BPA, but only 3 ratified as E2-repressed. SNORD suppression showed no correlation with methylation status changes in CpG sites in gene regulatory regions. Instead, BPA-induced gene silencing was found to associate with altered recruitments of H3K9me3, H3K4me3, and H3K27me3 to 5'-regulatory/exonic sequences of 5 SNORDs. Expression of 4 out of these 5 SNORDs (SNORD59A, SNORD82, SNORD116, and SNORD117) was shown to be reduced in PCa compared with adjacent normal tissue. This study reveals a novel and unique action of BPA in disrupting expression of PCa-associated SNORDs and a putative mechanism for reprogramming the prostasphere epigenome via histone modification. PMID:26248216

  13. Epigenetic modifications of triterpenoid ursolic acid in activating Nrf2 and blocking cellular transformation of mouse epidermal cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyuck; Ramirez, Christina N; Su, Zheng-Yuan; Kong, Ah-Ng Tony

    2016-07-01

    Ursolic acid (UA), a well-known natural triterpenoid found in abundance in blueberries, cranberries and apple peels, has been reported to possess many beneficial health effects. These effects include anticancer activity in various cancers, such as skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a master regulator of antioxidative stress response with anticarcinogenic activity against UV- and chemical-induced tumor formation in the skin. Recent studies show that epigenetic modifications of Nrf2 play an important role in cancer prevention. However, the epigenetic impact of UA on Nrf2 signaling remains poorly understood in skin cancer. In this study, we investigated the epigenetic effects of UA on mouse epidermal JB6 P+ cells. UA inhibited cellular transformation by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate at a concentration at which the cytotoxicity was no more than 25%. Under this condition, UA induced the expression of the Nrf2-mediated detoxifying/antioxidant enzymes heme oxygenase-1, NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1. DNA methylation analysis revealed that UA demethylated the first 15 CpG sites of the Nrf2 promoter region, which correlated with the reexpression of Nrf2. Furthermore, UA reduced the expression of epigenetic modifying enzymes, including the DNA methyltransferases DNMT1 and DNMT3a and the histone deacetylases (HDACs) HDAC1, HDAC2, HDAC3 and HDAC8 (Class I) and HDAC6 and HDAC7 (Class II), and HDAC activity. Taken together, these results suggest that the epigenetic effects of the triterpenoid UA could potentially contribute to its beneficial effects, including the prevention of skin cancer. PMID:27260468

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25822796

  15. Profiles of epigenetic histone post-translational modifications at type 1 diabetes susceptible genes.

    PubMed

    Miao, Feng; Chen, Zhuo; Zhang, Lingxiao; Liu, Zheng; Wu, Xiwei; Yuan, Yate-Ching; Natarajan, Rama

    2012-05-11

    Both genetic and environmental factors are implicated in type 1 diabetes (T1D). Because environmental factors can trigger epigenetic changes, we hypothesized that variations in histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) at the promoter/enhancer regions of T1D susceptible genes may be associated with T1D. We therefore evaluated histone PTM variations at known T1D susceptible genes in blood cells from T1D patients versus healthy nondiabetic controls, and explored their connections to T1D. We used the chromatin immunoprecipitation-linked to microarray approach to profile key histone PTMs, including H3-lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3), H3K27me3, H3K9me3, H3K9 acetylation (H3K9Ac), and H4K16Ac at genes within the T1D susceptible loci in lymphocytes, and H3K4me3, H3K9me2, H3K9Ac, and H4K16Ac at the insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus 1 region in monocytes of T1D patients and healthy controls separately. We screened for potential variations in histone PTMs using computational methods to compare datasets from T1D and controls. Interestingly, we observed marked variations in H3K9Ac levels at the upstream regions of HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 within the insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus 1 locus in T1D monocytes relative to controls. Additional experiments with THP-1 monocytes demonstrated increased expression of HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 in response to interferon-γ and TNF-α treatment that were accompanied by changes in H3K9Ac at the same promoter regions as that seen in the patient monocytes. These results suggest that the H3K9Ac status of HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1, two genes highly associated with T1D, may be relevant to their regulation and transcriptional response toward external stimuli. Thus, the promoter/enhancer architecture and chromatin status of key susceptible loci could be important determinants in their functional association to T1D susceptibility. PMID:22431725

  16. Epigenetic modifications of Dexras 1 along the nNOS pathway in an animal model of multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Catanzaro, G; Pucci, M; Viscomi, M T; Lanuti, M; Feole, M; Angeletti, S; Grasselli, G; Mandolesi, G; Bari, M; Centonze, D; D'Addario, C; Maccarrone, M

    2016-05-15

    The development of multiple sclerosis, a major neurodegenerative disease, is due to both genetic and environmental factors that might trigger aberrant epigenetic changes of the genome. In this study, we analysed global DNA methylation in the brain of mice upon induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), and the effect of environmental enrichment (EE). We demonstrate that global DNA methylation decreased in the striatum, but not in the cortex, of EAE mice compared to healthy controls, in particular in neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)-positive interneurons of this brain area. Also, in the striatum but again not in the cortex, decreased DNA methylation of the nNOS downstream effector, dexamethasone-induced Ras protein 1 (Dexras 1), was observed in EAE mice, and was paralleled by an increase in its mRNA. Interestingly, EE was able to revert EAE effects on mRNA expression and DNA methylation levels of Dexras 1 and reduced gene expression of nNOS and 5-lipoxygenase (Alox5). Conversely, interleukin-1β (IL-1β) gene expression was found up-regulated in EAE mice compared to controls and was not affected by EE. Taken together, these data demonstrate an unprecedented epigenetic modulation of nNOS-signaling in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis, and show that EE can specifically revert EAE effects on Dexras 1 along this pathway. PMID:27138096

  17. 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

  18. On the origin of sperm epigenetic heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Laurentino, Sandra; Borgmann, Jennifer; Gromoll, Jörg

    2016-05-01

    The influence of epigenetic modifications on reproduction and on the function of male germ cells has been thoroughly demonstrated. In particular, aberrant DNA methylation levels in sperm have been associated with abnormal sperm parameters, lower fertilization rates and impaired embryo development. Recent reports have indicated that human sperm might be epigenetically heterogeneous and that abnormal DNA methylation levels found in the sperm of infertile men could be due to the presence of sperm populations with different epigenetic quality. However, the origin and the contribution of different germ cell types to this suspected heterogeneity remain unclear. In this review, we focus on sperm epigenetics at the DNA methylation level and its importance in reproduction. We take into account the latest developments and hypotheses concerning the functional significance of epigenetic heterogeneity coming from the field of stem cell and cancer biology and discuss the potential importance and consequences of sperm epigenetic heterogeneity for reproduction, male (in)fertility and assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Based on the current information, we propose a model in which spermatogonial stem cell variability, either intrinsic or due to external factors (such as endocrine action and environmental stimuli), can lead to epigenetic sperm heterogeneity, sperm epimutations and male infertility. The elucidation of the precise causes for epimutations, the conception of adequate therapeutic options and the development of sperm selection technologies based on epigenetic quality should be regarded as crucial to the improvement of ART outcome in the near future. PMID:26884419

  19. In vitro profiling of epigenetic modifications underlying heavy metal toxicity of tungsten-alloy and its components

    SciTech Connect

    Verma, Ranjana; Xu, Xiufen; Jaiswal, Manoj K.; Olsen, Cara; Mears, David; Caretti, Giuseppina; Galdzicki, Zygmunt

    2011-06-15

    Tungsten-alloy has carcinogenic potential as demonstrated by cancer development in rats with intramuscular implanted tungsten-alloy pellets. This suggests a potential involvement of epigenetic events previously implicated as environmental triggers of cancer. Here, we tested metal induced cytotoxicity and epigenetic modifications including H3 acetylation, H3-Ser10 phosphorylation and H3-K4 trimethylation. We exposed human embryonic kidney (HEK293), human neuroepithelioma (SKNMC), and mouse myoblast (C2C12) cultures for 1-day and hippocampal primary neuronal cultures for 1-week to 50-200 {mu}g/ml of tungsten-alloy (91% tungsten/6% nickel/3% cobalt), tungsten, nickel, and cobalt. We also examined the potential role of intracellular calcium in metal mediated histone modifications by addition of calcium channel blockers/chelators to the metal solutions. Tungsten and its alloy showed cytotoxicity at concentrations > 50 {mu}g/ml, while we found significant toxicity with cobalt and nickel for most tested concentrations. Diverse cell-specific toxic effects were observed, with C2C12 being relatively resistant to tungsten-alloy mediated toxic impact. Tungsten-alloy, but not tungsten, caused almost complete dephosphorylation of H3-Ser10 in C2C12 and hippocampal primary neuronal cultures with H3-hypoacetylation in C2C12. Dramatic H3-Ser10 dephosphorylation was found in all cobalt treated cultures with a decrease in H3 pan-acetylation in C2C12, SKNMC and HEK293. Trimethylation of H3-K4 was not affected. Both tungsten-alloy and cobalt mediated H3-Ser10 dephosphorylation were reversed with BAPTA-AM, highlighting the role of intracellular calcium, confirmed with 2-photon calcium imaging. In summary, our results for the first time reveal epigenetic modifications triggered by tungsten-alloy exposure in C2C12 and hippocampal primary neuronal cultures suggesting the underlying synergistic effects of tungsten, nickel and cobalt mediated by changes in intracellular calcium homeostasis

  20. Epigenetic histone modifications and master regulators as determinants of context dependent nuclear receptor activity in bone cells.

    PubMed

    Pike, J Wesley; Meyer, Mark B; St John, Hillary C; Benkusky, Nancy A

    2015-12-01

    Genomic annotation of unique and combinatorial epigenetic modifications along with transcription factor occupancy is having a profound impact on our understanding of the genome. These studies have led to a better appreciation of the dynamic nature of the epigenetic and transcription factor binding components that reveal overarching principles of the genome as well as tissue specificity. In this minireview, we discuss the presence and potential functions of several of these features across the genome in osteoblast lineage cells. We examine how these features are modulated during cellular maturation, affect transcriptional output and phenotype, and how they alter the ability of cells to respond to systemic signals directed by calcemic hormones such as 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and PTH. In particular, we describe recent experiments which indicate that progressive stages of bone cell differentiation affect RUNX2 binding to the genome, modify and restrict patterns of gene expression, and dramatically alter cellular response to the vitamin D hormone. These studies expand our understanding of mechanisms that govern steroid hormone regulation of gene expression, while highlighting the increasing complexity that is evident relative to these basic cellular processes. The results also have profound implications with respect to the impact of skeletal diseases on transcriptional outcomes as well. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Epigenetics and Bone. PMID:25819039

  1. Aberrant DNA methylation and epigenetic inactivation of Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and ephrin ligands in acute lymphoblastic leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Kuang, Shao-Qing; Bai, Hao; Fang, Zhi-Hong; Lopez, Gonzalo; Yang, Hui; Tong, Weigang; Wang, Zack Z.

    2010-01-01

    Eph receptors and their ephrin ligands are involved in normal hematopoietic development and tumorigenesis. Using methylated CpG island amplification/DNA promoter microarray, we identified several EPH receptor and EPHRIN genes as potential hypermethylation targets in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We subsequently studied the DNA methylation status of the Eph/ephrin family by bisulfite pyrosequencing. Hypermethylation of EPHA2, -A4, -A5, -A6, -A7, -A10, EPHB1, -B2, -B3, -B4, EFNA1, -A3, -A5, and EFNB1 and -B2 genes was detected in leukemia cell lines and primary ALL bone marrow samples. Expression analysis of EPHB4, EFNB2, and EFNA5 genes demonstrated that DNA methylation was associated with gene silencing. We cloned the promoter region of EPHB4 and demonstrated that promoter hypermethylation can result in EPHB4 transcriptional silencing. Restoration of EPHB4 expression by lentiviral transduction resulted in reduced proliferation and apoptotic cell death in Raji cells in which EPHB4 is methylated and silenced. Finally, we demonstrated that phosphorylated Akt is down-regulated in Raji cells transduced with EPHB4. These results suggest that epigenetic silencing by hypermethylation of EPH/EPHRIN family genes contributes to ALL pathogenesis and that EPHB4 can function as a tumor suppressor in ALL. PMID:20061560

  2. N6-methyl-adenosine (m6A) in RNA: an old modification with a novel epigenetic function.

    PubMed

    Niu, Yamei; Zhao, Xu; Wu, Yong-Sheng; Li, Ming-Ming; Wang, Xiu-Jie; Yang, Yun-Gui

    2013-02-01

    N(6)-methyl-adenosine (m(6)A) is one of the most common and abundant modifications on RNA molecules present in eukaryotes. However, the biological significance of m(6)A methylation remains largely unknown. Several independent lines of evidence suggest that the dynamic regulation of m(6)A may have a profound impact on gene expression regulation. The m(6)A modification is catalyzed by an unidentified methyltransferase complex containing at least one subunit methyltransferase like 3 (METTL3). m(6)A modification on messenger RNAs (mRNAs) mainly occurs in the exonic regions and 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) as revealed by high-throughput m(6)A-seq. One significant advance in m(6)A research is the recent discovery of the first two m(6)A RNA demethylases fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene and ALKBH5, which catalyze m(6)A demethylation in an α-ketoglutarate (α-KG)- and Fe(2+)-dependent manner. Recent studies in model organisms demonstrate that METTL3, FTO and ALKBH5 play important roles in many biological processes, ranging from development and metabolism to fertility. Moreover, perturbation of activities of these enzymes leads to the disturbed expression of thousands of genes at the cellular level, implicating a regulatory role of m(6)A in RNA metabolism. Given the vital roles of DNA and histone methylations in epigenetic regulation of basic life processes in mammals, the dynamic and reversible chemical m(6)A modification on RNA may also serve as a novel epigenetic marker of profound biological significances. PMID:23453015

  3. Aberrant post-translational protein modifications in the pathogenesis of alcohol-induced liver injury.

    PubMed

    Osna, Natalia A; Carter, Wayne G; Ganesan, Murali; Kirpich, Irina A; McClain, Craig J; Petersen, Dennis R; Shearn, Colin T; Tomasi, Maria L; Kharbanda, Kusum K

    2016-07-21

    It is likely that the majority of proteins will undergo post-translational modification, be it enzymatic or non-enzymatic. These modified protein(s) regulate activity, localization and interaction with other cellular molecules thereby maintaining cellular hemostasis. Alcohol exposure significantly alters several of these post-translational modifications leading to impairments of many essential physiological processes. Here, we present new insights into novel modifications following ethanol exposure and their role in the initiation and progression of liver injury. This critical review condenses the proceedings of a symposium at the European Society for the Biomedical Research on Alcoholism Meeting held September 12-15, 2015, in Valencia, Spain. PMID:27468209

  4. Aberrant post-translational protein modifications in the pathogenesis of alcohol-induced liver injury

    PubMed Central

    Osna, Natalia A; Carter, Wayne G; Ganesan, Murali; Kirpich, Irina A; McClain, Craig J; Petersen, Dennis R; Shearn, Colin T; Tomasi, Maria L; Kharbanda, Kusum K

    2016-01-01

    It is likely that the majority of proteins will undergo post-translational modification, be it enzymatic or non-enzymatic. These modified protein(s) regulate activity, localization and interaction with other cellular molecules thereby maintaining cellular hemostasis. Alcohol exposure significantly alters several of these post-translational modifications leading to impairments of many essential physiological processes. Here, we present new insights into novel modifications following ethanol exposure and their role in the initiation and progression of liver injury. This critical review condenses the proceedings of a symposium at the European Society for the Biomedical Research on Alcoholism Meeting held September 12-15, 2015, in Valencia, Spain. PMID:27468209

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Epigenetic Basis of Mental Illness.

    PubMed

    Nestler, Eric J; Peña, Catherine J; Kundakovic, Marija; Mitchell, Amanda; Akbarian, Schahram

    2016-10-01

    Psychiatric disorders are complex multifactorial illnesses involving chronic alterations in neural circuit structure and function as well as likely abnormalities in glial cells. While genetic factors are important in the etiology of most mental disorders, the relatively high rates of discordance among identical twins, particularly for depression and other stress-related syndromes, clearly indicate the importance of additional mechanisms. Environmental factors such as stress are known to play a role in the onset of these illnesses. Exposure to such environmental insults induces stable changes in gene expression, neural circuit function, and ultimately behavior, and these maladaptations appear distinct between developmental versus adult exposures. Increasing evidence indicates that these sustained abnormalities are maintained by epigenetic modifications in specific brain regions. Indeed, transcriptional dysregulation and the aberrant epigenetic regulation that underlies this dysregulation is a unifying theme in psychiatric disorders. Here, we provide a progress report of epigenetic studies of the three major psychiatric syndromes, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. We review the literature derived from animal models of these disorders as well as from studies of postmortem brain tissue from human patients. While epigenetic studies of mental illness remain at early stages, understanding how environmental factors recruit the epigenetic machinery within specific brain regions to cause lasting changes in disease susceptibility and pathophysiology is revealing new insight into the etiology and treatment of these conditions. PMID:26450593

  7. Cancer type-specific epigenetic changes: gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Calcagno, Danielle Queiroz; de Arruda Cardoso Smith, Marília; Burbano, Rommel Rodriguez

    2015-01-01

    Gastric cancer (GC) remains a major cause of mortality despite declining rate in the world. Epigenetic alterations contribute significantly to the development and progression of gastric tumors. Epigenetic refers to the number of modifications of the chromatin structure that affect gene expression without altering the primary sequence of DNA, and these changes lead to transcriptional activation or silencing of the gene. Over the years, the study of epigenetic processes has increased, and novel therapeutic approaches have emerged. This chapter summarizes the main epigenomic mechanisms described recently involved in gastric carcinogenesis, focusing on the roles that aberrant DNA methylation, histone modifications (histone acetylation and methylation), and miRNAs (oncogenic and tumor suppressor function of miRNA) play in the onset and progression of gastric tumors. Clinical implications of these epigenetic alterations in GC are also discussed. PMID:25421656

  8. Investigating the effects of in utero benzene exposure on epigenetic modifications in maternal and fetal CD-1 mice.

    PubMed

    Philbrook, Nicola A; Winn, Louise M

    2015-11-15

    Exposure to the ubiquitous environmental pollutant benzene is positively correlated with leukemia in adults and may be associated with childhood leukemia following in utero exposure. While numerous studies implicate oxidative stress and DNA damage as playing a role in benzene-mediated carcinogenicity, emerging evidence suggests that alterations in epigenetic regulations may be involved. The present study aimed to determine whether DNA methylation and/or various histone modifications were altered following in utero benzene exposure in CD-1 mice. Global DNA methylation and promoter-specific methylation of the tumor suppressor gene, p15, were assessed. Additionally, levels of acetylated histones H3, H4, and H3K56, as well as methylated histones H3K9 and H3K27 were assessed by Western blotting. A significant decrease in global DNA methylation of maternal bone marrow was observed following benzene exposure; however no effect on global DNA methylation was detected in fetal livers. Additionally, no effect of benzene exposure was observed on p15 promoter methylation or any measured histone modifications in both maternal bone marrow and fetal livers. These results suggest that the methodology used in the present study did not reveal alterations in DNA methylation and histone modifications following in utero exposure to benzene; however further experimentation investigating these modifications at the whole genome/epigenome level, as well as at later stages of benzene-induced carcinogenesis, are warranted. PMID:26341289

  9. N (6)-Methyladenosine (m(6)A) Methylation in mRNA with A Dynamic and Reversible Epigenetic Modification.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ruifan; Jiang, Denghu; Wang, Yizhen; Wang, Xinxia

    2016-07-01

    N (6)-methyladenosine (m(6)A) is the most abundant and reversible internal modification ubiquitously occurring in eukaryotic mRNA, albeit the significant biological roles of m(6)A methylation have remained largely unclear. The well-known DNA and histone methylations play crucial roles in epigenetic modification of biologic processes in eukaryotes. Analogously, the dynamic and reversible m(6)A RNA modification, which is installed by methyltransferase (METTL3, METTL14, and WTAP), reversed by demethylases (FTO, ALKBH5) and mediated by m(6)A-binding proteins (YTHDF1-3, YTHDC1), may also have a profound impact on gene expression regulation. Recent discoveries of the distributions, functions, and mechanisms of m(6)A modification suggest that this methylation functionally modulates the eukaryotic transcriptome to influence mRNA transcription, splicing, nuclear export, localization, translation, and stability. This reversible mRNA methylation shed light on a new dimension of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression at the RNA level. m(6)A methylation also plays significant and broad roles in various physiological processes, such as development, fertility, carcinogenesis, stemness, early mortality, meiosis and circadian cycle, and links to obesity, cancer, and other human diseases. This review mainly describes the current knowledge of m(6)A and perspectives on future investigations. PMID:27179969

  10. Metabotropic Glutamate 2/3 Receptors and Epigenetic Modifications in Psychotic Disorders: A Review.

    PubMed

    Matrisciano, Francesco; Panaccione, Isabella; Grayson, Danis R; Nicoletti, Ferdinando; Guidotti, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder are chronic psychiatric disorders, both considered as "major psychosis"; they are thought to share some pathogenetic factors involving a dysfunctional gene x environment interaction. Alterations in the glutamatergic transmission have been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of psychosis. Our group developed an epigenetic model of schizophrenia originated by Prenatal Restraint Stress (PRS) paradigm in mice. PRS mice developed some behavioral alterations observed in schizophrenic patients and classic animal models of schizophrenia, i.e. deficits in social interaction, locomotor activity and prepulse inhibition. They also showed specific changes in promoter DNA methylation activity of genes related to schizophrenia such as reelin, BDNF and GAD67, and altered expression and function of mGlu2/3 receptors in the frontal cortex. Interestingly, behavioral and molecular alterations were reversed by treatment with mGlu2/3 agonists. Based on these findings, we speculate that pharmacological modulation of these receptors could have a great impact on early phase treatment of psychosis together with the possibility to modulate specific epigenetic key protein involved in the development of psychosis. In this review, we will discuss in more details the specific features of the PRS mice as a suitable epigenetic model for major psychosis. We will then focus on key proteins of chromatin remodeling machinery as potential target for new pharmacological treatment through the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors. PMID:26813121

  11. Metabotropic Glutamate 2/3 Receptors and Epigenetic Modifications in Psychotic Disorders: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Matrisciano, Francesco; Panaccione, Isabella; Grayson, Danis R.; Nicoletti, Ferdinando; Guidotti, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder are chronic psychiatric disorders, both considered as “major psychosis”; they are thought to share some pathogenetic factors involving a dysfunctional gene x environment interaction. Alterations in the glutamatergic transmission have been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of psychosis. Our group developed an epigenetic model of schizophrenia originated by Prenatal Restraint Stress (PRS) paradigm in mice. PRS mice developed some behavioral alterations observed in schizophrenic patients and classic animal models of schizophrenia, i.e. deficits in social interaction, locomotor activity and prepulse inhibition. They also showed specific changes in promoter DNA methylation activity of genes related to schizophrenia such as reelin, BDNF and GAD67, and altered expression and function of mGlu2/3 receptors in the frontal cortex. Interestingly, behavioral and molecular alterations were reversed by treatment with mGlu2/3 agonists. Based on these findings, we speculate that pharmacological modulation of these receptors could have a great impact on early phase treatment of psychosis together with the possibility to modulate specific epigenetic key protein involved in the development of psychosis. In this review, we will discuss in more details the specific features of the PRS mice as a suitable epigenetic model for major psychosis. We will then focus on key proteins of chromatin remodeling machinery as potential target for new pharmacological treatment through the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors. PMID:26813121

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Epigenetic modifications play crucial roles in the regulation of chromatin architecture and are involved in cell cycle progression, including mitosis and meiosis. To explore the relationship between epigenetic modifications and the cell cycle, we treated maize (Zea mays) seedlings with six different epigenetic modification-related inhibitors and identified the postsynthetic phase (G2 ) arrest via flow cytometry analysis. Total H4K5ac levels were significantly increased and the distribution of H3S10ph signalling was obviously changed in mitosis under various treatments. Further statistics of the cells in different periods of mitosis confirmed that the cell cycle was arrested at preprophase. Concentrations of hydrogen peroxide were relatively higher in the treated plants and the antioxidant thiourea could negate the influence of the inhibitors. Moreover, all of the treated plants displayed negative results in the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labelling (TUNEL) and γ-H2AX immunostaining assays after exposure for 3 d. Additionally, the expression level of topoisomerase genes in the treated plants was relatively lower than that in the untreated plants. These results suggest that these inhibitors of epigenetic modifications could cause preprophase arrest via reactive oxygen species formation inhibiting the expression of DNA topoisomerase genes, accompanied by changes in the H4K5ac and H3S10ph histone modifications. PMID:27040740

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. HSPC117 Is Regulated by Epigenetic Modification and Is Involved in the Migration of JEG-3 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Hong; Qi, Mei-Yu; Zhang, Xu; Zhang, Yue-Ling; Wang, Liang; Li, Zhong-Qiu; Fu, Bo; Wang, Wen-Tao; Liu, Di

    2014-01-01

    The human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell 117 (HSPC117) protein is an essential component of protein complexes and has been identified to be involved in many important functions. However, how this gene expression is regulated and whether the HSPC117 gene affects cell migration is still unknown. The aim of this study was to identify whether HSPC117 mRNA expression is regulated by epigenetic modification and whether HSPC117 expression level affects the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP 2), matrix metalloproteinase 14 (MMP 14), and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 2 (TIMP 2), and further affects human placenta choriocarcinoma cell (JEG-3) migration speed. In our epigenetic modification experiment, JEG-3 cells were cultured in medium with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC), the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA), or both inhibitors. Then, the HSPC117 mRNA and protein expressions were assessed using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and Western blot assay. The results showed that, compared to the control, HSPC117 mRNA expression was increased by TSA or 5-aza-dC. The highest HSPC117 expression level was found after treatment with both 5-aza-dC and TSA. Further, in order to investigate the effect of HSPC117 on MMP 2, MMP 14, and TIMP 2 mRNA expressions, pEGFP-C1-HSPC117 plasmids were transfected into JEG-3 cells to improve the expression of HSPC117 in the JEG-3 cells. Then, the mRNA expression levels of MMP 2, MMP 14, TIMP 2, and the speed of cell migration were assessed using the scratch wound assay. The results showed that over-expression of HSPC117 mRNA reduced MMP 2 and MMP 14 mRNA expression, while TIMP 2 mRNA expression was up-regulated. The scratch wound assay showed that the migration speed of JEG-3 cells was slower than the non-transfected group and the C1-transfected group. All of these results indicate that HSPC117 mRNA expression is regulated by epigenetic modification; over

  16. RNA epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Nian; Pan, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Summary Mammalian messenger and long non-coding RNA contain tens of thousands of post-transcriptional chemical modifications. Among these, the N6-methyl-adenosine (m6A) modification is the most abundant and can be removed by specific mammalian enzymes. M6A modification is recognized by families of RNA binding proteins that affect many aspects of mRNA function. mRNA/lncRNA modification represents another layer of epigenetic regulation of gene expression, analogous to DNA methylation and histone modification. PMID:24768686

  17. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological diseases: genes, syndromes, and therapies.

    PubMed

    Urdinguio, Rocio G; Sanchez-Mut, Jose V; Esteller, Manel

    2009-11-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and modifications to histone proteins regulate high-order DNA structure and gene expression. Aberrant epigenetic mechanisms are involved in the development of many diseases, including cancer. The neurological disorder most intensely studied with regard to epigenetic changes is Rett syndrome; patients with Rett syndrome have neurodevelopmental defects associated with mutations in MeCP2, which encodes the methyl CpG binding protein 2, that binds to methylated DNA. Other mental retardation disorders are also linked to the disruption of genes involved in epigenetic mechanisms; such disorders include alpha thalassaemia/mental retardation X-linked syndrome, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, and Coffin-Lowry syndrome. Moreover, aberrant DNA methylation and histone modification profiles of discrete DNA sequences, and those at a genome-wide level, have just begun to be described for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease, and in other neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In this Review, we describe epigenetic changes present in neurological diseases and discuss the therapeutic potential of epigenetic drugs, such as histone deacetylase inhibitors. PMID:19833297

  18. Epigenetic Effects of Cannabis Exposure.

    PubMed

    Szutorisz, Henrietta; Hurd, Yasmin L

    2016-04-01

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

  19. Migration-related phenotypic divergence is associated with epigenetic modifications in rainbow trout.

    PubMed

    Baerwald, Melinda R; Meek, Mariah H; Stephens, Molly R; Nagarajan, Raman P; Goodbla, Alisha M; Tomalty, Katharine M H; Thorgaard, Gary H; May, Bernie; Nichols, Krista M

    2016-04-01

    Migration is essential for the reproduction and survival of many animals, yet little is understood about its underlying molecular mechanisms. We used the salmonid Oncorhynchus mykiss to gain mechanistic insight into smoltification, which is a morphological, physiological and behavioural transition undertaken by juveniles in preparation for seaward migration. O. mykiss is experimentally tractable and displays intra- and interpopulation variation in migration propensity. Migratory individuals can produce nonmigratory progeny and vice versa, indicating a high degree of phenotypic plasticity. One potential way that phenotypic plasticity might be linked to variation in migration-related life history tactics is through epigenetic regulation of gene expression. To explore this, we quantitatively measured genome-scale DNA methylation in fin tissue using reduced representation bisulphite sequencing of F2 siblings produced from a cross between steelhead (migratory) and rainbow trout (nonmigratory) lines. We identified 57 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) between smolt and resident O. mykiss juveniles. DMRs were high in magnitude, with up to 62% differential methylation between life history types, and over half of the gene-associated DMRs were in transcriptional regulatory regions. Many of the DMRs encode proteins with activity relevant to migration-related transitions (e.g. circadian rhythm pathway, nervous system development, protein kinase activity). This study provides the first evidence of a relationship between epigenetic variation and life history divergence associated with migration-related traits in any species. PMID:25958780

  20. Ovine HSP90AA1 gene promoter: functional study and epigenetic modifications.

    PubMed

    Salces-Ortiz, Judit; González, Carmen; Bolado-Carrancio, Alfonso; Rodríguez-Rey, Jose Carlos; Calvo, Jorge H; Muñoz, Rubén; Serrano, M Magdalena

    2015-11-01

    When environmental temperatures exceed a certain threshold, the upregulation of the ovine HSP90AA1 gene is produced to cope with cellular injuries caused by heat stress. It has been previously pointed out that several polymorphisms located at the promoter region of this gene seem to be the main responsible for the differences in the heat stress response observed among alternative genotypes in terms of gene expression rate. The present study, focused on the functional study of those candidate polymorphisms by electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and in vitro luciferase expression assays, has revealed that the observed differences in the transcriptional activity of the HSP90AA1 gene as response to heat stress are caused by the presence of a cytosine insertion (rs397514115) and a C to G transversion (rs397514116) at the promoter region. Next, we discovered the presence of epigenetic marks at the promoter and along the gene body founding an allele-specific methylation of the rs397514116 mutation in DNA extracted from blood samples. This regulatory mechanism interacts synergistically to modulate gene expression depending on environmental circumstances. Taking into account the results obtained, it is suggested that the transcription of the HSP90AA1 ovine gene is regulated by a cooperative action of transcription factors (TFs) whose binding sites are polymorphic and where the influence of epigenetic events should be also taken into account. PMID:26253285

  1. Comparison of sequencing-based methods to profile DNA methylation and identification of monoallelic epigenetic modifications.

    PubMed

    Harris, R Alan; Wang, Ting; Coarfa, Cristian; Nagarajan, Raman P; Hong, Chibo; Downey, Sara L; Johnson, Brett E; Fouse, Shaun D; Delaney, Allen; Zhao, Yongjun; Olshen, Adam; Ballinger, Tracy; Zhou, Xin; Forsberg, Kevin J; Gu, Junchen; Echipare, Lorigail; O'Geen, Henriette; Lister, Ryan; Pelizzola, Mattia; Xi, Yuanxin; Epstein, Charles B; Bernstein, Bradley E; Hawkins, R David; Ren, Bing; Chung, Wen-Yu; Gu, Hongcang; Bock, Christoph; Gnirke, Andreas; Zhang, Michael Q; Haussler, David; Ecker, Joseph R; Li, Wei; Farnham, Peggy J; Waterland, Robert A; Meissner, Alexander; Marra, Marco A; Hirst, Martin; Milosavljevic, Aleksandar; Costello, Joseph F

    2010-10-01

    Analysis of DNA methylation patterns relies increasingly on sequencing-based profiling methods. The four most frequently used sequencing-based technologies are the bisulfite-based methods MethylC-seq and reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS), and the enrichment-based techniques methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-seq) and methylated DNA binding domain sequencing (MBD-seq). We applied all four methods to biological replicates of human embryonic stem cells to assess their genome-wide CpG coverage, resolution, cost, concordance and the influence of CpG density and genomic context. The methylation levels assessed by the two bisulfite methods were concordant (their difference did not exceed a given threshold) for 82% for CpGs and 99% of the non-CpG cytosines. Using binary methylation calls, the two enrichment methods were 99% concordant and regions assessed by all four methods were 97% concordant. We combined MeDIP-seq with methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme (MRE-seq) sequencing for comprehensive methylome coverage at lower cost. This, along with RNA-seq and ChIP-seq of the ES cells enabled us to detect regions with allele-specific epigenetic states, identifying most known imprinted regions and new loci with monoallelic epigenetic marks and monoallelic expression. PMID:20852635

  2. Expression of TET2 enzyme indicates enhanced epigenetic modification of cells in periodontitis.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Lena; Thorbert-Mros, Sara; Lopez-Lago, Aaron; Kalm, Josephine; Shikhan, Asal; Berglundh, Tord

    2016-08-01

    DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mechanism involved in the regulation of gene expression, and a reduction in DNA methylation influences cell-cycle progression and cell differentiation in inflammatory cells. The aim of the present study was to analyze the DNA-methylation pattern at local and global/systemic levels in patients with periodontitis and gingivitis. Twenty-one subjects with generalized, severe periodontitis and 17 subjects with gingival inflammation but no attachment loss were recruited. Gingival biopsies and peripheral blood samples were collected and prepared for immunohistochemical analysis of 5-methylcytosine (5mC), 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), ten-eleven translocation 2 (TET2), and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1). Whilst a similar pattern for 5mC and 5hmC DNA methylation was found in both types of lesions, a significantly larger proportion of TET2-positive cells was found in periodontitis lesions than in gingivitis lesions. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed no differences between gingivitis and periodontitis lesions regarding expression of TET2 and isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) genes, while the global level of 5hmC was significantly higher in blood than in tissue in patients with periodontitis. It is suggested that epigenetic changes are more common in periodontitis lesions than in gingivitis lesions and that such changes are tissue specific. PMID:27297088

  3. An aberrant sugar modification of BACE1 blocks its lysosomal targeting in Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Kizuka, Yasuhiko; Kitazume, Shinobu; Fujinawa, Reiko; Saito, Takashi; Iwata, Nobuhisa; Saido, Takaomi C; Nakano, Miyako; Yamaguchi, Yoshiki; Hashimoto, Yasuhiro; Staufenbiel, Matthias; Hatsuta, Hiroyuki; Murayama, Shigeo; Manya, Hiroshi; Endo, Tamao; Taniguchi, Naoyuki

    2015-01-01

    The β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme-1 (BACE1), an essential protease for the generation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide, is a major drug target for Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, there is a concern that inhibiting BACE1 could also affect several physiological functions. Here, we show that BACE1 is modified with bisecting N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), a sugar modification highly expressed in brain, and demonstrate that AD patients have higher levels of bisecting GlcNAc on BACE1. Analysis of knockout mice lacking the biosynthetic enzyme for bisecting GlcNAc, GnT-III (Mgat3), revealed that cleavage of Aβ-precursor protein (APP) by BACE1 is reduced in these mice, resulting in a decrease in Aβ plaques and improved cognitive function. The lack of this modification directs BACE1 to late endosomes/lysosomes where it is less colocalized with APP, leading to accelerated lysosomal degradation. Notably, other BACE1 substrates, CHL1 and contactin-2, are normally cleaved in GnT-III-deficient mice, suggesting that the effect of bisecting GlcNAc on BACE1 is selective to APP. Considering that GnT-III-deficient mice remain healthy, GnT-III may be a novel and promising drug target for AD therapeutics. PMID:25592972

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    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

  6. 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. PMID:27344947

  7. Cytogenetic evidences of genome rearrangement and differential epigenetic chromatin modification in the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus).

    PubMed

    Covelo-Soto, Lara; Morán, Paloma; Pasantes, Juan J; Pérez-García, Concepción

    2014-12-01

    This work explores both the chromatin loss and the differential genome methylation in the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) from a molecular cytogenetic point of view. Fluorescent in situ hybridization experiments on meiotic bivalents and mitotic chromosomes corroborate the chromatin loss previously observed during the development of the sea lamprey and demonstrate that the elimination affects not only to Germ1 sequences but also to the rpt200 satellite DNA and most part of the major ribosomal DNA present on the germinal line. 5-Methylcytosine immunolocation revealed that the GC-rich heterochromatin is highly methylated in the germ line but significantly less in somatic chromosomes. These findings not only support previous observations about genome rearrangements but also give new information about epigenetic changes in P. marinus. The key position of lampreys in the vertebrate phylogenetic tree makes them an interesting taxon to provide relevant information about genome evolution in vertebrates. PMID:25432678

  8. Acrolein enhances epigenetic modifications, FasL expression and hepatocyte toxicity induced by anti-HIV drug Zidovudine.

    PubMed

    Ghare, Smita S; Donde, Hridgandh; Chen, Wei-Yang; Barker, David F; Gobejishvilli, Leila; McClain, Craig J; Barve, Shirish S; Joshi-Barve, Swati

    2016-09-01

    Zidovudine (AZT) remains the mainstay of antiretroviral therapy against HIV in resource-poor countries; however, its use is frequently associated with hepatotoxicity. Not all HIV patients on AZT develop hepatotoxicity, and the determining factors are unclear. Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are known risk factors for HIV hepatotoxicity, and both are significant sources of acrolein, a highly reactive and toxic aldehyde. This study examines the potential hepatotoxic interactions between acrolein and AZT. Our data demonstrate that acrolein markedly enhanced AZT-induced transcriptionally permissive histone modifications (H3K9Ac and H3K9Me3) allowing the recruitment of transcription factor NF-kB and RNA polymerase II at the FasL gene promoter, resulting in FasL upregulation and apoptosis in hepatocytes. Notably, the acrolein scavenger, hydralazine prevented these promoter-associated epigenetic changes and inhibited FasL upregulation and apoptosis induced by the combination of AZT and acrolein, as well as AZT alone. Our data strongly suggest that acrolein enhancement of promoter histone modifications and FasL upregulation are major pathogenic mechanisms driving AZT-induced hepatotoxicity. Moreover, these data also indicate the therapeutic potential of hydralazine in mitigating AZT hepatotoxicity. PMID:27238871

  9. PDX1 and ISL1 differentially coordinate with epigenetic modifications to regulate insulin gene expression in varied glucose concentrations.

    PubMed

    Wang, Weiping; Shi, Qiong; Guo, Ting; Yang, Zhe; Jia, Zhuqing; Chen, Ping; Zhou, Chunyan

    2016-06-15

    The mechanism of insulin gene transcription control in response to glucose concentration is poorly defined. The islet-restricted transcription factors PDX1 and ISL1 interact with BETA2, activating insulin gene expression. However, their contribution and hierarchical organization in insulin expression control based on glucose concentration remain unknown. We investigated PDX1 and ISL1 regulation of insulin gene expression in pancreatic β cells cultured in normal (5 mM/L) and high (25 mM/L) glucose conditions. ISL1 interacted with BETA2 to maintain basic insulin gene transcriptional activity under normal glucose. The ISL1-recruited cofactors SET9 and JMJD3 facilitated insulin gene histone modifications under normal glucose. In high-glucose concentrations, PDX1 formed a complex with BETA2 to enhance insulin gene expression. PDX1 also recruited SET9 and JMJD3 to promote the activation of histone modulation on the insulin promoter. This is the first evidence transcription factors orchestrate epigenetic modifications to control insulin gene expression based on glucose concentration. PMID:26994512

  10. 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

  11. Tissue specific up regulation of ACE2 in rabbit model of atherosclerosis by atorvastatin: role of epigenetic histone modifications.

    PubMed

    Tikoo, Kulbhushan; Patel, Gaurang; Kumar, Sandeep; Karpe, Pinakin Arun; Sanghavi, Maitri; Malek, Vajir; Srinivasan, K

    2015-02-01

    Growing body of evidence points out the crucial role of ACE2 in preventing atherosclerosis. However, data on how atherosclerosis affects ACE2 expression in heart and kidney remains unknown. Atherosclerosis was induced by feeding New Zealand White rabbits with high cholesterol diet (HCD - 2%) for 12 weeks and atorvastatin was administered (5mg/kg/day p.o) in last 3 weeks. ACE2 mRNA and protein expression was assessed by Western blotting and real time PCR. HCD fed rabbits developed atherosclerosis as confirmed by increase in plasma total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides as well as formation atherosclerotic plaques in arch of aorta. The ACE2 protein but not mRNA expression was reduced in heart and kidney of HCD rabbits. Interestingly, atorvastatin increased the ACE2 protein expression in heart and kidney of HCD rabbits. However, atorvastatin increased ACE2 mRNA in heart but not in kidney of HCD rabbits. Atorvastatin increased the occupancy of histone H3 acetylation (H3-Ac) mark on ACE2 promoter region in heart of HCD rabbits indicating direct or indirect epigenetic up-regulation of ACE2 by atorvastatin. Further, atorvastatin suppressed Ang II-induced contractile responses and enhanced AT2 receptor mediated relaxant responses in atherosclerotic aorta. We propose that atherosclerosis is associated with reduced ACE2 expression in heart and kidney. We also show an unexplored potential of atorvastatin to up-regulate ACE2 via epigenetic histone modifications. Our data suggest a novel way of replenishing ACE2 expression for preventing not only atherosclerosis but also other cardiovascular disorders. PMID:25482567

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  14. Advanced aging phenotype is revealed by epigenetic modifications in rat liver after in utero malnutrition.

    PubMed

    Heo, Hye J; Tozour, Jessica N; Delahaye, Fabien; Zhao, Yongmei; Cui, Lingguang; Barzilai, Nir; Einstein, Francine Hughes

    2016-10-01

    Adverse environmental exposures of mothers during fetal period predispose offspring to a range of age-related diseases earlier in life. Here, we set to determine whether a deregulated epigenetic pattern is similar in young animals whose mothers' nutrition was modulated during fetal growth to that acquired during normal aging in animals. Using a rodent model of maternal undernutrition (UN) or overnutrition (ON), we examined cytosine methylation profiles of liver from young female offspring and compared them to age-matched young controls and aged (20-month-old) animals. HELP-tagging, a genomewide restriction enzyme and sequencing assay demonstrates that fetal exposure to two different maternal diets is associated with nonrandom dysregulation of methylation levels with profiles similar to those seen in normal aging animals and occur in regions mapped to genes relevant to metabolic diseases and aging. Functional consequences were assessed by gene expression at 9 weeks old with more significant changes at 6 months of age. Early developmental exposures to unfavorable maternal diets result in altered methylation profiles and transcriptional dysregulation in Prkcb, Pc, Ncor2, and Smad3 that is also seen with normal aging. These Notch pathway and lipogenesis genes may be useful for prediction of later susceptibility to chronic disease. PMID:27470058

  15. LSD1-mediated epigenetic modification contributes to ovarian cancer cell migration and invasion.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuanxia; Wan, Xiaolei; Wei, Ye; Liu, Xiuwen; Lai, Wensheng; Zhang, Liuping; Jin, Jie; Wu, Chaoyang; Shao, Qixiang; Shao, Genbao; Lin, Qiong

    2016-06-01

    Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) has been implicated in the process of tumor progression at various steps, but its role in epithelial-messenchymal transition (EMT) and the migration of ovarian cancer cells remains obscure. In this study, we demonstrated the effect of LSD1 on ovarian cancer cell migration and the regulatory role of LSD1 in the expression of EMT markers. Inhibition of LSD1 expression impaired the migration and invasion of HO8910 ovarian cancer cells. In contrast, overexpression of LSD1 enhanced the cell migration and invasion of HO8910 cells. Mechanistic analyses showed that LSD1 promoted cell migration through induction of N-cadherin, vimentin, MMP-2 and inhibition of E-cadherin. Furthermore, LSD1 interacted with the promoter of E-cadherin and demethylated histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) at this region, downregulated E-cadherin expression, and consequently enhanced ovarian cancer cell migration. These data indicate that LSD1 acts as an epigenetic regulator of EMT and contributes to the metastasis of ovarian cancer. PMID:27109588

  16. Area-specific development of distinct projection neuron subclasses is regulated by postnatal epigenetic modifications.

    PubMed

    Harb, Kawssar; Magrinelli, Elia; Nicolas, Céline S; Lukianets, Nikita; Frangeul, Laura; Pietri, Mariel; Sun, Tao; Sandoz, Guillaume; Grammont, Franck; Jabaudon, Denis; Studer, Michele; Alfano, Christian

    2016-01-01

    During cortical development, the identity of major classes of long-distance projection neurons is established by the expression of molecular determinants, which become gradually restricted and mutually exclusive. However, the mechanisms by which projection neurons acquire their final properties during postnatal stages are still poorly understood. In this study, we show that the number of neurons co-expressing Ctip2 and Satb2, respectively involved in the early specification of subcerebral and callosal projection neurons, progressively increases after birth in the somatosensory cortex. Ctip2/Satb2 postnatal co-localization defines two distinct neuronal subclasses projecting either to the contralateral cortex or to the brainstem suggesting that Ctip2/Satb2 co-expression may refine their properties rather than determine their identity. Gain- and loss-of-function approaches reveal that the transcriptional adaptor Lmo4 drives this maturation program through modulation of epigenetic mechanisms in a time- and area-specific manner, thereby indicating that a previously unknown genetic program postnatally promotes the acquisition of final subtype-specific features. PMID:26814051

  17. Epigenetic modification of vomeronasal (V2r) precursor neurons by histone deacetylation.

    PubMed

    Xia, J; Broad, K D; Emson, P C; Keverne, E B

    2010-09-01

    Vomeronasal neurons undergo continuous neurogenesis throughout development and adult life. These neurons originate as stem cells in the apical zone of the lumen of the vomeronasal organ (VNO) and are described as nestin-expressing glia-like progenitor cells (Murdoch and Roskams, 2008). They then migrate horizontally along the basal zone where they differentiate into functional VNO neurons (Kaba et al., 1988). We harvested progenitor cells from the adult VNO and, after 3-6 months of invitro culture, these VNO neurons remained in a stable undifferentiated state expressing nestin, beta-tubulin III and vomeronasal type 2 (V2r), but not vomeronasal type 1 (V1r) receptors. Application of histone-deacetylase inhibitors induced development of a neural phenotype that expressed V2r receptors, a down-regulation of nestin expression and no change in any specific genetic markers associated with glial cells. Treatment with valproic acid induced extensive changes in gene expression in the axon guidance pathway. The adult VNO is known to functionally adapt throughout life as a consequence of changes in both a mouse's physiological status and its social environment. These pluripotent cultured neurons may provide valuable insights into how changes in both physiology and environment, exert epigenetic effects on vomeronasal neurons as they undergo continuous neurogenesis and development throughout the life of a mouse. PMID:20594945

  18. Area-specific development of distinct projection neuron subclasses is regulated by postnatal epigenetic modifications

    PubMed Central

    Harb, Kawssar; Magrinelli, Elia; Nicolas, Céline S; Lukianets, Nikita; Frangeul, Laura; Pietri, Mariel; Sun, Tao; Sandoz, Guillaume; Grammont, Franck; Jabaudon, Denis; Studer, Michèle; Alfano, Christian

    2016-01-01

    During cortical development, the identity of major classes of long-distance projection neurons is established by the expression of molecular determinants, which become gradually restricted and mutually exclusive. However, the mechanisms by which projection neurons acquire their final properties during postnatal stages are still poorly understood. In this study, we show that the number of neurons co-expressing Ctip2 and Satb2, respectively involved in the early specification of subcerebral and callosal projection neurons, progressively increases after birth in the somatosensory cortex. Ctip2/Satb2 postnatal co-localization defines two distinct neuronal subclasses projecting either to the contralateral cortex or to the brainstem suggesting that Ctip2/Satb2 co-expression may refine their properties rather than determine their identity. Gain- and loss-of-function approaches reveal that the transcriptional adaptor Lmo4 drives this maturation program through modulation of epigenetic mechanisms in a time- and area-specific manner, thereby indicating that a previously unknown genetic program postnatally promotes the acquisition of final subtype-specific features. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09531.001 PMID:26814051

  19. 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

  20. Epigenetic programming and risk: the birthplace of cardiovascular disease?

    PubMed

    Vinci, Maria Cristina; Polvani, Gianluca; Pesce, Maurizio

    2013-06-01

    Epigenetics, through control of gene expression circuitries, plays important roles in various physiological processes such as stem cell differentiation and self renewal. This occurs during embryonic development, in different tissues, and in response to environmental stimuli. The language of epigenetic program is based on specific covalent modifications of DNA and chromatin. Thus, in addition to the individual identity, encoded by sequence of the four bases of the DNA, there is a cell type identity characterized by its positioning in the epigenetic "landscape". Aberrant changes in epigenetic marks induced by environmental cues may contribute to the development of abnormal phenotypes associated with different human diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and inflammation. Most of the epigenetic studies have focused on embryonic development and cancer biology, while little has been done to explore the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. This review highlights our current knowledge of epigenetic gene regulation and the evidence that chromatin remodeling and histone modifications play key roles in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease through (re)programming of cardiovascular (stem) cells commitment, identity and function. PMID:22773406

  1. Epigenetic Therapy in Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Current and Future Directions.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tae Kon; Gore, Steven D; Zeidan, Amer M

    2015-07-01

    Epigenetic modifications affect gene expression without changes in the actual DNA sequence. Two of the most important mechanisms include DNA methylation and histone tail modifications (especially acetylation and methylation). Epigenetic modulation is a part of normal physiologic development; its dysregulation is an important mechanism of pathogenesis of some cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Despite significant progress in understanding the pathogenesis of AML, therapeutic options remain quite limited. Technological advances have facilitated understanding of aberrant DNA methylation and histone methylation/acetylation as key elements in the development of AML and uncovered several recurrent mutations in genes important for epigenetic regulation. However, much remains to be learned about how to exploit this knowledge for epigenetic therapeutic targeting. Currently, no epigenetic therapy is approved for the treatment of AML, although two DNA methyltransferase inhibitors (azacitidine and decitabine) are commonly used in clinical practice. Among the other epigenetic modifiers undergoing research in AML, the histone deacetylase inhibitors are the most studied. Other promising drugs, such as inhibitors of histone methylation (eg, EZH2 and DOT1L inhibitors), inhibitors of histone demethylases (eg, LSD1 inhibitors), inhibitors of bromodomain-containing epigenetic "reader" BET proteins, and inhibitors of mutant isocitrate dehydrogenases, are at early stages of clinical evaluation. PMID:26111464

  2. Epigenetic alterations in sperm associated with male infertility.

    PubMed

    Kitamura, Akane; Miyauchi, Naoko; Hamada, Hirotaka; Hiura, Hitoshi; Chiba, Hatsune; Okae, Hiroaki; Sato, Akiko; John, Rosalind M; Arima, Takahiro

    2015-08-01

    The most common form of male infertility is a low sperm count, known as oligozoospermia. Studies suggest that oligozoospermia is associated with epigenetic alterations. Epigenetic alterations in sperm, which may arise due to the exposure of gametes to environmental factors or those that pre-exist in the sperm of infertile individuals, may contribute to the increased incidence of normally rare imprinting disorders in babies conceived after assisted reproductive technology using the sperm of infertile men. Genomic imprinting is an important developmental process whereby the allelic activity of certain genes is regulated by DNA methylation established during gametogenesis. The aberrant expression of several imprinted genes has been linked to various diseases, malignant tumors, lifestyle and mental disorders in humans. Understanding how infertility and environmental factors such as reproductive toxicants, certain foods, and drug exposures during gametogenesis contribute to the origins of these disorders via defects in sperm is of paramount importance. In this review, we discuss the association of epigenetic alterations with abnormal spermatogenesis and the evidence that epigenetic processes, including those required for genomic imprinting, may be sensitive to environmental exposures during gametogenesis, fertilization and early embryonic development. In addition, we review imprinting diseases and their relationships with environmental factors. While the plasticity of epigenetic marks may make these more susceptible to modification by the environment, this also suggests that aberrant epigenetic marks may be reversible. A greater understanding of this process and the function of epidrugs may lead to the development of new treatment methods for many adult diseases in the future. PMID:26212350

  3. Protein Arginine Methylation and Citrullination in Epigenetic Regulation.

    PubMed

    Fuhrmann, Jakob; Thompson, Paul R

    2016-03-18

    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

  4. Protein Arginine Methylation and Citrullination in Epigenetic Regulation

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Mapping of histone modifications in episomal HBV cccDNA uncovers an unusual chromatin organization amenable to epigenetic manipulation

    PubMed Central

    Tropberger, Philipp; Mercier, Alexandre; Robinson, Margaret; Zhong, Weidong; Ganem, Don E.; Holdorf, Meghan

    2015-01-01

    Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection affects 240 million people worldwide and is a major risk factor for liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma. Current antiviral therapy inhibits cytoplasmic HBV genomic replication, but is not curative because it does not directly affect nuclear HBV closed circular DNA (cccDNA), the genomic form that templates viral transcription and sustains viral persistence. Novel approaches that directly target cccDNA regulation would therefore be highly desirable. cccDNA is assembled with cellular histone proteins into chromatin, but little is known about the regulation of HBV chromatin by histone posttranslational modifications (PTMs). Here, using a new cccDNA ChIP-Seq approach, we report, to our knowledge, the first genome-wide maps of PTMs in cccDNA-containing chromatin from de novo infected HepG2 cells, primary human hepatocytes, and from HBV-infected liver tissue. We find high levels of PTMs associated with active transcription enriched at specific sites within the HBV genome and, surprisingly, very low levels of PTMs linked to transcriptional repression even at silent HBV promoters. We show that transcription and active PTMs in HBV chromatin are reduced by the activation of an innate immunity pathway, and that this effect can be recapitulated with a small molecule epigenetic modifying agent, opening the possibility that chromatin-based regulation of cccDNA transcription could be a new therapeutic approach to chronic HBV infection. PMID:26438841

  6. Genomic loss of EZH2 leads to epigenetic modifications and overexpression of the HOX gene clusters in myelodysplastic syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chun-Kang; He, Qi; Wu, Ling-Yun; Zhang, Zheng; Shi, Wen-Hui; Guo, Juan; Zhu, Yang; Zhao, You-Shan; Gu, Shu-Cheng; Fei, Cheng-Ming; Li, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    The role of EZH2 in cancer is complex and may vary depending on cancer type or stage. We examined the effect of altered EZH2 levels on H3K27 methylation, HOX gene expression, and malignant phenotype in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) cell lines and an in vivo xenograft model. We also studied links between EZH2 expression and prognosis in MDS patients. Patients with high-grade MDS exhibited lower levels of EZH2 expression than those with low-grade MDS. Low EZH2 expression was associated with high percentages of blasts, shorter survival, and increased transformation of MDS into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). MDS patients frequently had reductions in EZH2 copy number. EZH2 knockdown increased tumor growth capacity and reduced H3K27me3 levels in both MDS-derived leukemia cells and in a xenograft model. H3K27me3 levels were reduced and HOX gene cluster expression was increased in MDS patients. EZH2 knockdown also increased HOX gene cluster expression by reducing H3K27me3, and H3K27 demethylating agents increased HOX gene cluster expression in MDS-derived cell lines. These findings suggest genomic loss of EZH2 contributes to overexpression of the HOX gene clusters in MDS through epigenetic modifications. PMID:26812882

  7. 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. PMID:21527733

  8. POLYTENE CHROMOSOME SQUASH METHODS FOR STUDYING TRANSCRIPTION AND EPIGENETIC CHROMATIN MODIFICATION IN DROSOPHILA USING ANTIBODIES

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, Kristen M.; Cai, Weili; Deng, Huai; Bao, Xiaomin; Zhang, Weiguo; Girton, Jack; Johansen, Jørgen

    2009-01-01

    The giant polytene chromosomes from Drosophila third instar larval salivary glands provide an important model system for studying the architectural changes in chromatin morphology associated with the process of transcription initiation and elongation. Especially, analysis of the heat shock response has proved useful in correlating chromatin structure remodeling with transcriptional activity. An important tool for such studies is the labeling of polytene chromosome squash preparations with antibodies to the enzymes, transcription factors, or histone modifications of interest. However, in any immunohistochemical experiment there will be advantages and disadvantages to different methods of fixation and sample preparation, the relative merits of which must be balanced. Here we provide detailed protocols for polytene chromosome squash preparation and discuss their relative pros and cons in terms of suitability for reliable antibody labeling and preservation of high resolution chromatin structure. PMID:19272452

  9. Bypassing the Requirements for Epigenetic Modifications in Gene Transcription by Increasing Enhancer Strength▿

    PubMed Central

    Koutroubas, George; Merika, Menie; Thanos, Dimitris

    2008-01-01

    Our current concept postulates that histone acetylation is required for the recruitment of bromodomain-containing transcription complexes, such as the chromatin-remodeling machine SWI/SNF and the basal transcription factor TFIID. We generated simple NF-κB-dependent enhancers of increasing transcriptional strengths and found that the histone acetylation requirements for activation of transcription depended on the strengths of these enhancers. All enhancers function by recruiting SWI/SNF and TFIID to induce nucleosome sliding, a prerequisite for transcriptional activation. However, histone acetylation, although it occurs, is dispensable for TFIID and SWI/SNF recruitment by the strong enhancers, indicating that strong activators can overcome the chromatin barrier by directly recruiting the necessary transcriptional complexes. Weak enhancers depend on histone acetylation for recruitment, and this requirement is independent of a histone acetylation code. Thus, the need for nucleosome modifications is imposed on genes and translated according to the quality and strengths of the activators. PMID:18025106

  10. Epigenetic modification of the glucocorticoid receptor gene is linked to traumatic memory and post-traumatic stress disorder risk in genocide survivors.

    PubMed

    Vukojevic, Vanja; Kolassa, Iris-T; Fastenrath, Matthias; Gschwind, Leo; Spalek, Klara; Milnik, Annette; Heck, Angela; Vogler, Christian; Wilker, Sarah; Demougin, Philippe; Peter, Fabian; Atucha, Erika; Stetak, Attila; Roozendaal, Benno; Elbert, Thomas; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; de Quervain, Dominique J-F

    2014-07-30

    Recent evidence suggests that altered expression and epigenetic modification of the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) are related to the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The underlying mechanisms, however, remain unknown. Because glucocorticoid receptor signaling is known to regulate emotional memory processes, particularly in men, epigenetic modifications of NR3C1 might affect the strength of traumatic memories. Here, we found that increased DNA methylation at the NGFI-A (nerve growth factor-induced protein A) binding site of the NR3C1 promoter was associated with less intrusive memory of the traumatic event and reduced PTSD risk in male, but not female survivors of the Rwandan genocide. NR3C1 methylation was not significantly related to hyperarousal or avoidance symptoms. We further investigated the relationship between NR3C1 methylation and memory functions in a neuroimaging study in healthy subjects. Increased NR3C1 methylation-which was associated with lower NR3C1 expression-was related to reduced picture recognition in male, but not female subjects. Furthermore, we found methylation-dependent differences in recognition memory-related brain activity in men. Together, these findings indicate that an epigenetic modification of the glucocorticoid receptor gene promoter is linked to interindividual and gender-specific differences in memory functions and PTSD risk. PMID:25080589

  11. High-Resolution Mapping of Epigenetic Modifications of the Rice Genome Uncovers Interplay between DNA Methylation, Histone Methylation, and Gene Expression[W

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xueyong; Wang, Xiangfeng; He, Kun; Ma, Yeqin; Su, Ning; He, Hang; Stolc, Viktor; Tongprasit, Waraporn; Jin, Weiwei; Jiang, Jiming; Terzaghi, William; Li, Songgang; Deng, Xing Wang

    2008-01-01

    We present high-resolution maps of DNA methylation and H3K4 di- and trimethylation of two entire chromosomes and two fully sequenced centromeres in rice (Oryza sativa) shoots and cultured cells. This analysis reveals combinatorial interactions between these epigenetic modifications and chromatin structure and gene expression. Cytologically densely stained heterochromatin had less H3K4me2 and H3K4me3 and more methylated DNA than the less densely stained euchromatin, whereas centromeres had a unique epigenetic composition. Most transposable elements had highly methylated DNA but no H3K4 methylation, whereas more than half of protein-coding genes had both methylated DNA and di- and/or trimethylated H3K4. Methylation of DNA but not H3K4 was correlated with suppressed transcription. By contrast, when both DNA and H3K4 were methylated, transcription was only slightly reduced. Transcriptional activity was positively correlated with the ratio of H3K4me3/H3K4me2: genes with predominantly H3K4me3 were actively transcribed, whereas genes with predominantly H3K4me2 were transcribed at moderate levels. More protein-coding genes contained all three modifications, and more transposons contained DNA methylation in shoots than cultured cells. Differential epigenetic modifications correlated to tissue-specific expression between shoots and cultured cells. Collectively, this study provides insights into the rice epigenomes and their effect on gene expression and plant development. PMID:18263775

  12. Epigenetics in pediatrics.

    PubMed

    Puumala, Susan E; Hoyme, H Eugene

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are external modifications of DNA that cause changes in gene function and are involved in many diseases. Specific examples of pediatric diseases with a known or suspected epigenetic component include Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, childhood leukemia, allergies, asthma, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, childhood obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Currently, epigenetically active treatments are being used to treat childhood leukemia. Potential epigenetically active treatments and preventive regimens are under study for other diseases. Pediatricians need to be aware of the epigenetic basis of disease to help inform clinical decision making in the future. PMID:25554107

  13. Acetaldehyde alters MAP kinase signalling and epigenetic histone modifications in hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Shukla, Shivendra D; Lee, Youn Ju; Park, Pil-hoon; Aroor, Annayya R

    2007-01-01

    Although both oxidative and non-oxidative metabolites of ethanol are involved in generating ethanol matabolic stress (Emess), the oxidative metabolite acetaldehyde plays a critical role in the cellular actions of ethanol. We have investigated the effects of acetaldehyde on p42/44 MAP kinase, p46/p54 c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK1/JNK2) and p38 MAP kinase in hepatocytes. Acetaldehyde caused temporal activation of p42/44 MAPK followed by JNK, but the activation of the p42/44 MAPK was not a prerequisite for the JNK activation. Activation ofJNK1 by acetaldehyde was greater than JNK2. Ethanol and acetaldehyde activatedJNK have opposing roles; ethanol-induced JNK activation increased apoptosis whereas that by acetaldehyde decreased apoptosis. Acetaldehyde also caused histone H3 acetylation at Lys9 and phosphorylation of histone H3 at Serl0 and 28, the latter being dependent on p38 MAP kinase. Phosphorylation at Ser28 was higher than at Serl0. Thus acetaldehyde distinctively alters MAP kinase signalling and histone modifications, processes involved in transcriptional activation. PMID:17590997

  14. Effect of epigenetic modification with trichostatin A and S-adenosylhomocysteine on developmental competence and POU5F1-EGFP expression of interspecies cloned embryos in dog.

    PubMed

    Mousai, M; Hosseini, S M; Hajian, M; Jafarpour, F; Asgari, V; Forouzanfar, M; Nasr-Esfahani, M H

    2015-10-01

    Adult canine fibroblasts stably transfected with either cytomegalovirus (CMV) or POU5F1 promoter-driven enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) were used to investigate if pre-treatment of these donor cells with two epigenetic drugs [trichostatin A (TSA), or S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH)] can improve the efficiency of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT). Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), analyses revealed that TSA, but not SAH, treatment of both transgenic and non-transgenic fibroblasts significantly increased acetylation levels compared with untreated relatives. The expression levels of Bcl2 and P53 were significantly affected in TSA-treated cells compared with untreated cells, whereas SAH treatment had no significant effect on cell apoptosis. Irrespective of epigenetic modification, dog/bovine iSCNT embryos had overall similar rates of cleavage and development to 8-16-cell and morula stages in non-transgenic groups. For transgenic reconstructed embryos, however, TSA and SAH could significantly improve development to 8-16-cell and morula stages compared with control. Even though, irrespective of cell transgenesis and epigenetic modification, none of the iSCNT embryos developed to the blastocyst stage. The iSCNT embryos carrying CMV-EGFP expressed EGFP at all developmental stages (2-cell, 4-cell, 8-16-cell, and morula) without mosaicism, while no POU5F1-EGFP signal was observed in any stage of developing iSCNT embryos irrespective of TSA/SAH epigenetic modifications. These results indicated that bovine oocytes partially remodel canine fibroblasts and that TSA and SAH have marginal beneficial effects on this process. PMID:25314965

  15. Astaxanthin Normalizes Epigenetic Modifications of Bovine Somatic Cell Cloned Embryos and Decreases the Generation of Lipid Peroxidation.

    PubMed

    Li, R; Wu, H; Zhuo, W W; Mao, Q F; Lan, H; Zhang, Y; Hua, S

    2015-10-01

    Astaxanthin is an extremely common antioxidant scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and blocking lipid peroxidation. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of astaxanthin supplementation on oocyte maturation, and development of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos. Cumulus-oocyte complexes were cultured in maturation medium with astaxanthin (0, 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 mg/l), respectively. We found that 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin supplementation significantly increased the proportion of oocyte maturation. Oocytes cultured in 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin supplementation were used to construct SCNT embryos and further cultured with 0, 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5 mg/l astaxanthin. The results showed that the supplementation of 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin significantly improved the proportions of cleavage and blastulation, as well as the total cell number in blastocysts compared with the control group, yet this influence was not concentration dependent. Chromosomal analyses revealed that more blastomeres showed a normal chromosomal complement in 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin treatment group, which was similar to that in IVF embryos. The methylation levels located on the exon 1 of the imprinted gene H19 and IGF2, pluripotent gene OCT4 were normalized, and global DNA methylation, H3K9 and H4K12 acetylation were also improved significantly, which was comparable to that in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos. Moreover, we also found that astaxanthin supplementation significantly decreased the level of lipid peroxidation. Our findings showed that the supplementation of 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin to oocyte maturation medium and embryo culture medium improved oocyte maturation, SCNT embryo development, increased chromosomal stability and normalized the epigenetic modifications, as well as inhibited overproduction of lipid peroxidation. PMID:26280670

  16. Epigenetic modifications of the glucocorticoid receptor gene are associated with the vulnerability to psychopathology in childhood maltreatment.

    PubMed

    Radtke, K M; Schauer, M; Gunter, H M; Ruf-Leuschner, M; Sill, J; Meyer, A; Elbert, T

    2015-01-01

    Stress, particularly when experienced early in life, can have profound implications for mental health. Previous research covering various tissues such as the brain, suggests that the detrimental impact of early-life stress (ELS) on mental health is mediated via epigenetic modifications including DNA methylation. Genes of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis--in particular, the glucocorticoid receptor (hGR) gene--stand out as key targets for ELS. Even though the link between hGR methylation and either ELS or psychopathology is fairly well established, the mutually dependent relationships between ELS, DNA methylation and psychopathology remain to be uncovered. The specific psychopathology an individual might develop in the aftermath of stressful events can be highly variable, however, most studies investigating hGR methylation and psychopathology suffer from being limited to a single symptom cluster of mental disorders. Here, we screened volunteers for childhood maltreatment and analyzed whether it associates with hGR methylation in lymphocytes and a range of measures of psychological ill-health. hGR methylation in lymphocytes most likely reflects methylation patterns found in the brain and thus provides valuable insights into the etiology of psychopathology. We find the interaction between childhood maltreatment and hGR methylation to be strongly correlated with an increased vulnerability to psychopathology providing evidence of epigenome × environment interactions. Furthermore, our results indicate an additive effect of childhood maltreatment and hGR methylation in predicting borderline personality disorder (BPD)-associated symptoms, suggesting that the combination of both ELS and DNA methylation that possibly represents unfavorable events experienced even earlier in life poses the risk for BPD. PMID:26080088

  17. Epigenetic modifications of the glucocorticoid receptor gene are associated with the vulnerability to psychopathology in childhood maltreatment

    PubMed Central

    Radtke, K M; Schauer, M; Gunter, H M; Ruf-Leuschner, M; Sill, J; Meyer, A; Elbert, T

    2015-01-01

    Stress, particularly when experienced early in life, can have profound implications for mental health. Previous research covering various tissues such as the brain, suggests that the detrimental impact of early-life stress (ELS) on mental health is mediated via epigenetic modifications including DNA methylation. Genes of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis—in particular, the glucocorticoid receptor (hGR) gene—stand out as key targets for ELS. Even though the link between hGR methylation and either ELS or psychopathology is fairly well established, the mutually dependent relationships between ELS, DNA methylation and psychopathology remain to be uncovered. The specific psychopathology an individual might develop in the aftermath of stressful events can be highly variable, however, most studies investigating hGR methylation and psychopathology suffer from being limited to a single symptom cluster of mental disorders. Here, we screened volunteers for childhood maltreatment and analyzed whether it associates with hGR methylation in lymphocytes and a range of measures of psychological ill-health. hGR methylation in lymphocytes most likely reflects methylation patterns found in the brain and thus provides valuable insights into the etiology of psychopathology. We find the interaction between childhood maltreatment and hGR methylation to be strongly correlated with an increased vulnerability to psychopathology providing evidence of epigenome × environment interactions. Furthermore, our results indicate an additive effect of childhood maltreatment and hGR methylation in predicting borderline personality disorder (BPD)-associated symptoms, suggesting that the combination of both ELS and DNA methylation that possibly represents unfavorable events experienced even earlier in life poses the risk for BPD. PMID:26080088

  18. 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

  19. Epigenetic signaling in psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    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 reveals new insight into disease mechanisms in humans. PMID:24709417

  20. Prospects for Epigenetic Epidemiology

    PubMed Central

    Foley, Debra L.; Craig, Jeffrey M.; Morley, Ruth; Olsson, Craig J.; Dwyer, Terence; Smith, Katherine

    2009-01-01

    Epigenetic modification can mediate environmental influences on gene expression and can modulate the disease risk associated with genetic variation. Epigenetic analysis therefore holds substantial promise for identifying mechanisms through which genetic and environmental factors jointly contribute to disease risk. The spatial and temporal variance in epigenetic profile is of particular relevance for developmental epidemiology and the study of aging, including the variable age at onset for many common diseases. This review serves as a general introduction to the topic by describing epigenetic mechanisms, with a focus on DNA methylation; genetic and environmental factors that influence DNA methylation; epigenetic influences on development, aging, and disease; and current methodology for measuring epigenetic profile. Methodological considerations for epidemiologic studies that seek to include epigenetic analysis are also discussed. PMID:19139055

  1. [Epigenetics and colorectal cancer].

    PubMed

    Menéndez, Pablo; Villarejo, Pedro; Padilla, David; Menéndez, José María; Rodríguez Montes, José Antonio

    2012-05-01

    The epigenetic and physiological mechanisms that alter the structure of chromatin include the methylation of DNA, changes in the histones, and changes in RNA. A literature review has been carried out using PubMed on the evidence published on the association between epigenetics and colorectal cancer. The scientific literature shows that epigenetic changes, such as genetic modifications may be very significant in the origin of neoplastic disease, contributing both to the development and progression of the disease. PMID:22425513

  2. Melatonin relieves neuropathic allodynia through spinal MT2-enhanced PP2Ac and downstream HDAC4 shuttling-dependent epigenetic modification of hmgb1 transcription.

    PubMed

    Lin, Tzer-Bin; Hsieh, Ming-Chun; Lai, Cheng-Yuan; Cheng, Jen-Kun; Wang, Hsueh-Hsiao; Chau, Yat-Pang; Chen, Gin-Den; Peng, Hsien-Yu

    2016-04-01

    Melatonin (MLT; N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) exhibits analgesic properties in chronic pain conditions. While researches linking MLT to epigenetic mechanisms have grown exponentially over recent years, very few studies have investigated the contribution of MLT-associated epigenetic modification to pain states. Here, we report that together with behavioral allodynia, spinal nerve ligation (SNL) induced a decrease in the expression of catalytic subunit of phosphatase 2A (PP2Ac) and enhanced histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) phosphorylation and cytoplasmic accumulation, which epigenetically alleviated HDAC4-suppressed hmgb1 gene transcription, resulting in increased high-mobility group protein B1 (HMGB1) expression selectively in the ipsilateral dorsal horn of rats. Focal knock-down of spinal PP2Ac expression also resulted in behavioral allodynia in association with similar protein expression as observed with SNL. Notably, intrathecal administration with MLT increased PP2Ac expression, HDAC4 dephosphorylation and nuclear accumulation, restored HDAC4-mediated hmgb1 suppression and relieved SNL-sensitized behavioral pain; these effects were all inhibited by spinal injection of 4P-PDOT (a MT2 receptor antagonist, 30 minutes before MLT) and okadaic acid (OA, a PP2A inhibitor, 3 hr after MLT). Our findings demonstrate a novel mechanism by which MLT ameliorates neuropathic allodynia via epigenetic modification. This MLT-exhibited anti-allodynia is mediated by MT2-enhanced PP2Ac expression that couples PP2Ac with HDAC4 to induce HDAC4 dephosphorylation and nuclear import, herein increases HDAC4 binding to the promoter of hmgb1 gene and upregulates HMGB1 expression in dorsal horn neurons. PMID:26732138

  3. Metabolic defects provide a spark for the epigenetic switch in cancer

    PubMed Central

    Hitchler, Michael J; Domann, Frederick E

    2009-01-01

    Cancer is a pathology that is associated with aberrant gene expression and an altered metabolism. While changes in gene expression have historically been attributed to mutations, it has become apparent that epigenetic processes also play a critical role in controlling gene expression during carcinogenesis. Global changes in epigenetic processes including DNA methylation and histone modifications have been observed in cancer. These epigenetic alterations can aberrantly silence or activate gene expression during the formation of cancer; however, the process leading to this epigenetic switch in cancer remains unknown. Carcinogenesis is also associated with metabolic defects that increase mitochondrially derived reactive oxygen species, create an atypical redox state, and change the fundamental means by which cells produce energy. Here, we summarize the influence of these metabolic defects on epigenetic processes. Metabolic defects affect epigenetic enzymes by limiting availability of the cofactors like S-adenosylmethionine. Increased production of reactive oxygen species alters DNA methylation and histone modifications in tumor cells by oxidizing DNMTs and HMTs, or through direct oxidation of nucleotide bases. Lastly, the Warburg effect and increased glutamine consumption in cancer influences histone acetylation and methylation by affecting the activity of sirtuins and histone demethylases. PMID:19362589

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. The Epigenetics of Renal Cell Tumors: from Biology to Biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Henrique, Rui; Luís, Ana Sílvia; Jerónimo, Carmen

    2012-01-01

    Renal cell tumors (RCT) collectively constitute the third most common type of genitourinary neoplasms, only surpassed by prostate and bladder cancer. They comprise a heterogeneous group of neoplasms with distinctive clinical, morphological, and genetic features. Epigenetic alterations are a hallmark of cancer cells and their role in renal tumorigenesis is starting to emerge. Aberrant DNA methylation, altered chromatin remodeling/histone onco-modifications and deregulated microRNA expression not only contribute to the emergence and progression of RCTs, but owing to their ubiquity, they also constitute a promising class of biomarkers tailored for disease detection, diagnosis, assessment of prognosis, and prediction of response to therapy. Moreover, due to their dynamic and reversible properties, those alterations represent a target for epigenetic-directed therapies. In this review, the current knowledge about epigenetic mechanisms and their altered status in RCT is summarized and their envisaged use in a clinical setting is also provided. PMID:22666228

  6. Maintenance of Epigenetic Information.

    PubMed

    Almouzni, Geneviève; Cedar, Howard

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARYThe genome is subject to a diverse array of epigenetic modifications from DNA methylation to histone posttranslational changes. Many of these marks are somatically stable through cell division. This article focuses on our knowledge of the mechanisms governing the inheritance of epigenetic marks, particularly, repressive ones, when the DNA and chromatin template are duplicated in S phase. This involves the action of histone chaperones, nucleosome-remodeling enzymes, histone and DNA methylation binding proteins, and chromatin-modifying enzymes. Last, the timing of DNA replication is discussed, including the question of whether this constitutes an epigenetic mark that facilitates the propagation of epigenetic marks. PMID:27141050

  7. Insights into the Epigenetic Mechanisms Controlling Pancreatic Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    McCleary-Wheeler, Angela L.; Lomberk, Gwen A.; Weiss, Frank U.; Schneider, Günter; Fabbri, Muller; Poshusta, Tara L.; Dusetti, Nelson J.; Baumgart, Sandra; Iovanna, Juan L.; Ellenrieder, Volker; Urrutia, Raul; Fernandez-Zapico, Martin E.

    2012-01-01

    During the last couple decades, we have significantly advanced our understanding of mechanisms underlying the development of pancreatic ductural adenocarcinoma (PDAC). In the late 1990s into the early 2000s, a model of PDAC development and progression was developed as a multi-step process associated with the accumulation of somatic mutations. The correlation and association of these particular genetic aberrations with the establishment and progression of PDAC has revolutionized our understanding of this process. However, this model leaves out other molecular events involved in PDAC pathogenesis that contribute to its development and maintenance, specifically those being epigenetic events. Thus, a new model considering the new scientific paradigms of epigenetics will provide a more comprehensive and useful framework for understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this disease. Epigenetics is defined as the type of inheritance not based on a particular DNA sequence but rather traits that are passed to the next generation via DNA and histone modifications as well as microRNA-dependent mechanisms. Key tumor suppressors that are well established to play a role in PDAC may be altered through hypermethylation, and oncogenes can be upregulated secondary to permissive histone modifications. Factors involved in tumor invasiveness can be aberrantly expressed through dysregulated microRNAs. A noteworthy characteristic of epigenetic-based inheritance is its reversibility, which is in contrast to the stable nature of DNA sequence-based alterations. Given this nature of epigenetic alterations, it becomes imperative that our understanding of epigenetic-based events promoting and maintain PDAC continues to grow. PMID:23073473

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Epigenetics and Autoimmune Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Quintero-Ronderos, Paula; Montoya-Ortiz, Gladis

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetics is defined as the study of all inheritable and potentially reversible changes in genome function that do not alter the nucleotide sequence within the DNA. Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modification, nucleosome positioning, and microRNAs (miRNAs) are essential to carry out key functions in the regulation of gene expression. Therefore, the epigenetic mechanisms are a window to understanding the possible mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of complex diseases such as autoimmune diseases. It is noteworthy that autoimmune diseases do not have the same epidemiology, pathology, or symptoms but do have a common origin that can be explained by the sharing of immunogenetic mechanisms. Currently, epigenetic research is looking for disruption in one or more epigenetic mechanisms to provide new insights into autoimmune diseases. The identification of cell-specific targets of epigenetic deregulation will serve us as clinical markers for diagnosis, disease progression, and therapy approaches. PMID:22536485

  11. Epigenetics and Vasculitis: a Comprehensive Review.

    PubMed

    Renauer, Paul; Coit, Patrick; Sawalha, Amr H

    2016-06-01

    Vasculitides represent a group of relatively rare systemic inflammatory diseases of the blood vessels. Despite recent progress in understanding the genetic basis and the underlying pathogenic mechanisms in vasculitis, the etiology and pathogenesis of vasculitis remain incompletely understood. Epigenetic dysregulation plays an important role in immune-mediated diseases, and the contribution of epigenetic aberrancies in vasculitis is increasingly being recognized. Histone modifications in the PR3 and MPO gene loci might be mechanistically involved in the pathogenesis of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis. Similarly, other studies revealed important epigenetic contribution to other vasculitides, including Kawasaki disease and IgA vasculitis. More recently, genome-wide epigenomic studies have been performed in several vasculitides. A recent genome-wide DNA methylation study uncovered an important role for epigenetic remodeling of cytoskeleton-related genes in the pathogenesis of Behçet's disease and suggested that reversal of some of these DNA methylation changes associates with disease remission. Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling characterized the inflammatory response in temporal artery tissue from patients with giant cell arteritis and showed increased activation of calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) signaling, prompting the suggestion that a specific calcineurin/NFAT inhibitor that is well tolerated and with the added beneficial anti-platelet activity, such as dipyridamole, might be of therapeutic potential in giant cell arteritis. While epigenetic studies in systemic vasculitis are still in their infancy, currently available data clearly indicate that investigating the epigenetic mechanisms underlying these diseases will help to better understand the pathogenesis of vasculitis and provide novel targets for the development of disease biomarkers and new therapies. PMID:26093659

  12. Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in the development of arteriovenous malformations in the brain.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Jaya Mary; Surendran, Sumi; Abraham, Mathew; Rajavelu, Arumugam; Kartha, Chandrasekharan C

    2016-01-01

    Vascular malformations are developmental congenital abnormalities of the vascular system which may involve any segment of the vascular tree such as capillaries, veins, arteries, or lymphatics. Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are congenital vascular lesions, initially described as "erectile tumors," characterized by atypical aggregation of dilated arteries and veins. They may occur in any part of the body, including the brain, heart, liver, and skin. Severe clinical manifestations occur only in the brain. There is absence of normal vascular structure at the subarteriolar level and dearth of capillary bed resulting in aberrant arteriovenous shunting. The causative factor and pathogenic mechanisms of AVMs are unknown. Importantly, no marker proteins have been identified for AVM. AVM is a high flow vascular malformation and is considered to develop because of variability in the hemodynamic forces of blood flow. Altered local hemodynamics in the blood vessels can affect cellular metabolism and may trigger epigenetic factors of the endothelial cell. The genes that are recognized to be associated with AVM might be modulated by various epigenetic factors. We propose that AVMs result from a series of changes in the DNA methylation and histone modifications in the genes connected to vascular development. Aberrant epigenetic modifications in the genome of endothelial cells may drive the artery or vein to an aberrant phenotype. This review focuses on the molecular pathways of arterial and venous development and discusses the role of hemodynamic forces in the development of AVM and possible link between hemodynamic forces and epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of AVM. PMID:27453762

  13. [Epigenetics in Parkinson's Disease].

    PubMed

    Wüllner, U

    2016-07-01

    The genetic information encoded in the DNA sequence provides a blueprint of the entire organism. The epigenetic modifications, in particular DNA methylation and histone modifications, determine how and when this information is made available and define the specific gene transcription pattern of a given cell. Epigenetic modifications determine the functional differences of genetically identical cells in multicellular organisms and are important factors in various processes from embryonic development to learning and memory consolidation. DNA methylation patterns are altered by environmental conditions and some alterations are preserved through mitosis and meiosis. Thus, DNA methylation can mediate environmental impact on health and disease, contributes to the severity of diseases and probably contributes to the effects and side effects of drugs. In addition to the classical monogenic epigenetic diseases such as Prader-Willi syndrome and Rett syndrome, recent data point to an epigenetic component also in sporadic neuro-psychiatric disorders. PMID:27299943

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27042856

  16. Epigenetics in Cystic Fibrosis: Epigenetic Targeting of a Genetic Disease.

    PubMed

    Sirinupong, Nualpun; Yang, Zhe

    2015-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a deadly genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. A mutation in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene is the cause of the disease. How epigenetics contributes to CFTR expression is still poorly understood. Epigenetics is a mechanism that alters gene expression without changing the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation and histone modification. Both mechanisms have been implicated in CFTR gene regulation. Here we review epigenetic regulation of CFTR transcription while discussing potential epigenetic targeting strategies including DNA methyltransferase, histone deacetylase, and histone methyltransferase and demethylase inhibition. Because of the reversibility of epigenetics, targeting epigenetic mechanisms has been an attractive therapeutic approach. However, epigenetic targeting of CF disease is still at its infant stage. PMID:25882215

  17. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis. PMID:24213472

  18. An overview of epigenetics and chemoprevention.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yi-Wen; Kuo, Chieh-Ti; Stoner, Kristen; Huang, Tim H-Y; Wang, Li-Shu

    2011-07-01

    It is now appreciated that both genetic alteration, e.g. mutations, and aberrant epigenetic changes, e.g. DNA methylation, cause cancer. Epigenetic dysregulation is potentially reversible which makes it attractive as targets for cancer prevention. Synthetic drugs targeting enzymes, e.g. DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase, that regulate epigenetic patterns are active in clinical settings. In addition, dietary factors have been suggested to have potential to reverse aberrant epigenetic patterns. Uncovering the human epigenome can lead us to better understand the dynamics of DNA methylation in disease progression which can further assist in cancer prevention. PMID:21056563

  19. Natural Compounds: Role in Reversal of Epigenetic Changes.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Ruchi; Jha, Meenakshi; Shrivastava, Anju; Jha, Abhimanyu Kumar

    2015-08-01

    The hallmarks of carcinogenesis are characterized by alterations in the expression of multiple genes that occur via genetic and epigenetic alterations, leading to genome rearrangements and instability. The reversible process of epigenetic regulation, which includes changes in DNA methylation, histone modifications, and alteration in microRNA (miRNA) expression that alter phenotype without any change in the DNA sequence, is recognized as a key mechanism in cancer cell metabolism. Recent advancements in the rapidly evolving field of cancer epigenetics have shown the anticarcinogenic potential of natural compounds targeting epigenetic mechanism as a common molecular approach for cancer treatment. This review summarizes the potential of natural chemopreventive agents to reverse cancer-related epigenetic aberrations by regulating the activity of histone deacetylases, histone acetyltransferases, DNA methyltransferase I, and miRNAs. Furthermore, there is impetus for determining novel and effective chemopreventive strategies, either alone or in combination with other anticancer agents that exhibit similar properties, for improving the therapeutic aspects of cancer. PMID:26547065

  20. RNP2 of RNA Recognition Motif 1 Plays a Central Role in the Aberrant Modification of TDP-43

    PubMed Central

    Takagi, Shinnosuke; Iguchi, Yohei; Katsuno, Masahisa; Ishigaki, Shinsuke; Ikenaka, Kensuke; Fujioka, Yusuke; Honda, Daiyu; Niwa, Jun-ichi; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Adachi, Hiroaki; Sobue, Gen

    2013-01-01

    Phosphorylated and truncated TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) is a major component of ubiquitinated cytoplasmic inclusions in neuronal and glial cells of two TDP-43 proteinopathies, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Modifications of TDP-43 are thus considered to play an important role in the pathogenesis of TDP-43 proteinopathies. However, both the initial cause of these abnormal modifications and the TDP-43 region responsible for its aggregation remain uncertain. Here we report that the 32 kDa C-terminal fragment of TDP-43, which lacks the RNP2 motif of RNA binding motif 1 (RRM1), formed aggregates in cultured cells, and that similar phenotypes were obtained when the RNP2 motif was either deleted from or mutated in full-length TDP-43. These aggregations were ubiquitinated, phosphorylated and truncated, and sequestered the 25 kDa C-terminal TDP-43 fragment seen in the neurons of TDP-43 proteinopathy patients. In addition, incubation with RNase decreased the solubility of TDP-43 in cell lysates. These findings suggest that the RNP2 motif of RRM1 plays a substantial role in pathological TDP-43 modifications and that it is possible that disruption of RNA binding may underlie the process of TDP-43 aggregation. PMID:23840565

  1. RNP2 of RNA recognition motif 1 plays a central role in the aberrant modification of TDP-43.

    PubMed

    Takagi, Shinnosuke; Iguchi, Yohei; Katsuno, Masahisa; Ishigaki, Shinsuke; Ikenaka, Kensuke; Fujioka, Yusuke; Honda, Daiyu; Niwa, Jun-ichi; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Adachi, Hiroaki; Sobue, Gen

    2013-01-01

    Phosphorylated and truncated TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) is a major component of ubiquitinated cytoplasmic inclusions in neuronal and glial cells of two TDP-43 proteinopathies, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Modifications of TDP-43 are thus considered to play an important role in the pathogenesis of TDP-43 proteinopathies. However, both the initial cause of these abnormal modifications and the TDP-43 region responsible for its aggregation remain uncertain. Here we report that the 32 kDa C-terminal fragment of TDP-43, which lacks the RNP2 motif of RNA binding motif 1 (RRM1), formed aggregates in cultured cells, and that similar phenotypes were obtained when the RNP2 motif was either deleted from or mutated in full-length TDP-43. These aggregations were ubiquitinated, phosphorylated and truncated, and sequestered the 25 kDa C-terminal TDP-43 fragment seen in the neurons of TDP-43 proteinopathy patients. In addition, incubation with RNase decreased the solubility of TDP-43 in cell lysates. These findings suggest that the RNP2 motif of RRM1 plays a substantial role in pathological TDP-43 modifications and that it is possible that disruption of RNA binding may underlie the process of TDP-43 aggregation. PMID:23840565

  2. Repression of Biotin-Related Proteins by Benzo[a]Pyrene-Induced Epigenetic Modifications in Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Xia, Bo; Yang, Lin-Qing; Huang, Hai-Yan; Pang, Li; Yang, Xi-Fei; Yi, You-Jin; Ren, Xiao-Hu; Li, Jie; Zhuang, Zhi-Xiong; Liu, Jian-Jun

    2016-05-01

    Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) exposure has been associated with the alteration in epigenetic marks that are involved in cancer development. Biotinidase (BTD) and holocarboxylase synthetase (HCS) are 2 major enzymes involved in maintaining the homeostasis of biotinylation, and the deregulation of this pathway has been associated with a number of cancers. However, the link between B[a]P exposure and the dysregulation of BTD/HCS in B[a]P-associated tumorigenesis is unknown. Here we showed that the expression of both BTD and HCS was significantly decreased upon B[a]P treatment in human bronchial epithelial (16HBE) cells. Benzo[a]pyrene exposure led to the global loss of DNA methylation by immunofluorescence, which coincided with the reduction in acetylation levels on histones H3 and H4 in 16HBE cells. Consistent with decreased histone acetylation, histone deacetylases (HDACs) HDAC2 and HDAC3 were significantly upregulated in a dosage-dependent manner. When DNA methylation or HDAC activity was inhibited, we found that the reduction in BTD and HCS was separately regulated through distinct epigenetic mechanisms. Together, our results suggested the potential link between B[a]P toxicity and deregulation of biotin homeostasis pathway in B[a]P-associated cancer development. PMID:26960346

  3. Epigenetic modifications in salivary glands from patients with Sjögren's syndrome affect cytokeratin 19 expression.

    PubMed

    Konsta, O D; Charras, A; Le Dantec, C; Kapsogeorgeou, E; Bordron, A; Brooks, W H; Tzioufas, A G; Pers, J O; Renaudineau, Y

    2016-01-01

    Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune epithelitis, and several lines of experiments indicate that multifactorial factors contribute to salivary gland epithelial cells (SGEC) dysfunctions including a combination of environmental factors, lymphocytic infiltrations, genetic predispositions as well as epigenetic defects. Such statement is reinforced by the observation that global DNA methylation (5MeCyt) is altered in minor salivary glands from pSS patients and that such defect is associated cytokeratin 19 (KRT19) overexpression. An epigenetic deregulation of the KRT19 gene was further tested by treating the human salivary gland (HSG) cell line with the DNA demethylating agent 5-azacytidin, and with the histone acetylase inhibitor trichostatin A. Blocking DNA methylation, but not histone acetylation, with 5-azacytidin was associated with KRT19 overexpression at both transcriptional and protein level. Next, analysis of the CpG genome-wide methylome array in the KTR19 locus from long term cultured SGEC obtained from 8 pSS patients revealed a more reduced DNA methylation level in those patients with defective global DNA methylation. Altogether, our data, therefore, suggest that alteration of DNA methylation in SGEC may contribute to pSS pathophysiology in part by controlling the expression of KRT19. PMID:27352422

  4. Epigenetics and addiction.

    PubMed

    Cadet, J L; McCoy, M T; Jayanthi, S

    2016-05-01

    Addictions are public health menaces. However, despite advances in addiction research, the cellular or molecular mechanisms that cause transition from recreational use to addiction remain to be elucidated. We have recently suggested that addiction may be secondary to long-term epigenetic modifications that determine the clinical course of substance use disorders. A better understanding of epigenetic mechanisms in animal models that mimic human conditions should help to usher in a new area of drug development against addiction. PMID:26841306

  5. Epigenetics and Cancer Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Christelle; Warmoes, Marc O.; Shen, Xiling; Locasale, Jason W.

    2013-01-01

    Cancer cells adapt their metabolism to support proliferation and survival. A hallmark of cancer, this alteration is characterized by dysfunctional metabolic enzymes, changes in nutrient availability, tumor microenvironment and oncogenic mutations. Metabolic rewiring in cancer is tightly connected to changes at the epigenetic level. Enzymes that mediate epigenetic status of cells catalyze posttranslational modifications of DNA and histones and influence metabolic gene expression. These enzymes require metabolites that are used as cofactors and substrates to carry out reactions. This interaction of epigenetics and metabolism constitutes a new avenue of cancer biology and could lead to new insights for the development of anti-cancer therapeutics. PMID:24125862

  6. 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. PMID:24858130

  7. Epigenetic signaling in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Ibi, Daisuke; González-Maeso, Javier

    2015-10-01

    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

  8. Epigenetic Modification, Dehydration, and Molecular Crowding Effects on the Thermodynamics of i-Motif Structure Formation from C-Rich DNA

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    DNA sequences with the potential to form secondary structures such as i-motifs (iMs) and G-quadruplexes (G4s) are abundant in the promoters of several oncogenes and, in some instances, are known to regulate gene expression. Recently, iM-forming DNA strands have also been employed as functional units in nanodevices, ranging from drug delivery systems to nanocircuitry. To understand both the mechanism of gene regulation by iMs and how to use them more efficiently in nanotechnological applications, it is essential to have a thorough knowledge of factors that govern their conformational states and stabilities. Most of the prior work to characterize the conformational dynamics of iMs have been done with iM-forming synthetic constructs like tandem (CCT)n repeats and in standard dilute buffer systems. Here, we present a systematic study on the consequences of epigenetic modifications, molecular crowding, and degree of hydration on the stabilities of an iM-forming sequence from the promoter of the c-myc gene. Our results indicate that 5-hydroxymethylation of cytosines destabilized the iMs against thermal and pH-dependent melting; contrarily, 5-methylcytosine modification stabilized the iMs. Under molecular crowding conditions (PEG-300, 40% w/v), the thermal stability of iMs increased by ∼10 °C, and the pKa was raised from 6.1 ± 0.1 to 7.0 ± 0.1. Lastly, the iM’s stability at varying degrees of hydration in 1,2-dimethoxyethane, 2-methoxyethanol, ethylene glycol, 1,3-propanediol, and glycerol cosolvents indicated that the iMs are stabilized by dehydration because of the release of water molecules when folded. Our results highlight the importance of considering the effects of epigenetic modifications, molecular crowding, and the degree of hydration on iM structural dynamics. For example, the incorporation of 5-methylycytosines and 5-hydroxymethlycytosines in iMs could be useful for fine-tuning the pH- or temperature-dependent folding/unfolding of an iM. Variations in

  9. Epigenetic modification of TLR4 promotes activation of NF-κB by regulating methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 2 and Sp1 in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tae Woo; Lee, Seon-Jin; Oh, Byung Moo; Lee, Heesoo; Uhm, Tae Gi; Min, Jeong-Ki; Park, Young-Jun; Yoon, Suk Ran; Kim, Bo-Yeon; Kim, Jong Wan; Choe, Yong-Kyung; Lee, Hee Gu

    2016-01-26

    Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is important in promoting the immune response in various cancers. Recently, TLR4 is highly expressed in a stage-dependent manner in gastric cancer, but the regulatory mechanism of TLR4 expression has been not elucidated it. Here, we investigated the mechanism underlying regulation of TLR4 expression through promoter methylation and histone modification between transcriptional regulation and silencing of the TLR4 gene in gastric cancer cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was carried out to screen for factors related to TLR4 methylation such as MeCP2, HDAC1, and Sp1 on the TLR4 promoter. Moreover, DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) induced demethylation of the TLR4 promoter and increased H3K4 trimethylation and Sp1 binding to reactivate silenced TLR4. In contrast, although the silence of TLR4 activated H3K9 trimethylation and MeCP2 complex, combined treatment with TLR4 agonist and 5-aza-dC upregulated H3K4 trimethylation and activated with transcription factors as Sp1 and NF-κB. This study demonstrates that recruitment of the MeCP2/HDAC1 repressor complex increases the low levels of TLR4 expression through epigenetic modification of DNA and histones on the TLR4 promoter, but Sp1 activates TLR4 high expression by hypomethylation and NF-κB signaling in gastric cancer cells. PMID:26675260

  10. Epigenetic modification of TLR4 promotes activation of NF-κB by regulating methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 2 and Sp1 in gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Byung Moo; Lee, Heesoo; Uhm, Tae Gi; Min, Jeong-Ki; Park, Young-Jun; Yoon, Suk Ran; Kim, Bo-Yeon; Kim, Jong Wan; Choe, Yong-Kyung; Lee, Hee Gu

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is important in promoting the immune response in various cancers. Recently, TLR4 is highly expressed in a stage-dependent manner in gastric cancer, but the regulatory mechanism of TLR4 expression has been not elucidated it. Here, we investigated the mechanism underlying regulation of TLR4 expression through promoter methylation and histone modification between transcriptional regulation and silencing of the TLR4 gene in gastric cancer cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was carried out to screen for factors related to TLR4 methylation such as MeCP2, HDAC1, and Sp1 on the TLR4 promoter. Moreover, DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) induced demethylation of the TLR4 promoter and increased H3K4 trimethylation and Sp1 binding to reactivate silenced TLR4. In contrast, although the silence of TLR4 activated H3K9 trimethylation and MeCP2 complex, combined treatment with TLR4 agonist and 5-aza-dC upregulated H3K4 trimethylation and activated with transcription factors as Sp1 and NF-κB. This study demonstrates that recruitment of the MeCP2/HDAC1 repressor complex increases the low levels of TLR4 expression through epigenetic modification of DNA and histones on the TLR4 promoter, but Sp1 activates TLR4 high expression by hypomethylation and NF-κB signaling in gastric cancer cells. PMID:26675260

  11. Fetal environment, epigenetics, and pediatric renal disease.

    PubMed

    Woroniecki, Robert; Gaikwad, Anil Bhanudas; Susztak, Katalin

    2011-05-01

    The notion that some adult diseases may have their origins in utero has recently captured scientists' attention. Some of these effects persist across generations and may involve epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic modifications, DNA methylation together with covalent modifications of histones, alter chromatin density and accessibility of DNA to cellular machinery, modulating the transcriptional potential of the underlying DNA sequence. Here, we will discuss the different epigenetic modifications and their potential role in and contribution to renal disease development. PMID:21174217

  12. EGCG prevents PCB-126-induced endothelial cell inflammation via epigenetic modifications of NF-κB target genes in human endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, Dandan; Perkins, Jordan T; Hennig, Bernhard

    2016-02-01

    Anti-inflammatory polyphenols, such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), have been shown to protect against the toxicity of environmental pollutants. It is well known that bioactive food compounds such as polyphenols may exert their protection by modulating inflammatory pathways regulated through nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling. EGCG has been reported to inhibit NF-κB activation. We hypothesize that EGCG can protect against polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-induced endothelial inflammation in part through epigenetic regulation of NF-κB-regulated inflammatory genes. In order to test this hypothesis, human endothelial cells (EA.hy926) were exposed to physiologically relevant levels of coplanar PCB 126 and/or 15 or 30 μM of EGCG, followed by quantification of NF-κB subunit p65, histone acetyltransferase p300 and histone deacetylases (HDACs) accumulation through chromatin immunoprecipitation assay in the promoter region of inflammatory genes. In addition, the enrichment of the acetylated H3 was also quantified. PCB 126 exposure increased the expression of vascular inflammatory mediators, including interleukin (IL)-6, C-reactive protein, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and IL-1α/β, which were prevented by pretreatment with EGCG. This inhibitory effect by EGCG correlated with abolished nuclear import of p65, decreased chromatin binding of p65 and p300, as well as increased chromatin binding of HDAC 1/2. Furthermore, EGCG induced hypoacetylation of H3, which accounts for deactivation of downstream genes. These data suggest that EGCG-induced epigenetic modifications can decrease PCB-induced vascular toxicity. PMID:26878794

  13. Evidence of an Epigenetic Modification in Cell-cycle Arrest Caused by the Use of Ultra-highly-diluted Gonolobus Condurango Extract

    PubMed Central

    Bishayee, Kausik; Sikdar, Sourav; Khuda-Bukhsh, Anisur Rahman

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: Whether the ultra-highly-diluted remedies used in homeopathy can effectively bring about modulations of gene expressions through acetylation/deacetylation of histones has not been explored. Therefore, in this study, we pointedly checked if the homeopathically-diluted anti-cancer remedy Condurango 30C (ethanolic extract of Gonolobus condurango diluted 10-60 times) was capable of arresting the cell cycles in cervical cancer cells HeLa by triggering an epigenetic modification through modulation of the activity of the key enzyme histone deacetylase 2 vis-a-vis the succussed alcohol (placebo) control. Methods: We checked the activity of different signal proteins (like p21WAF, p53, Akt, STAT3) related to deacetylation, cell growth and differentiation by western blotting and analyzed cell-cycle arrest, if any, by fluorescence activated cell sorting. After viability assays had been performed with Condurango 30C and with a placebo, the activities of histone de-acetylase (HDAC) enzymes 1 and 2 were measured colorimetrically. Results: While Condurango 30C induced cytotoxicity in HeLa cells in vitro and reduced HDAC2 activity quite strikingly, it apparently did not alter the HDAC1 enzyme; the placebo had no or negligible cytotoxicity against HeLa cells and could not alter either the HDAC 1 or 2 activity. Data on p21WAF, p53, Akt, and STAT3 activities and a cell-cycle analysis revealed a reduction in DNA synthesis and G1-phase cell-cycle arrest when Condurango 30C was used at a 2% dose. Conclusion: Condurango 30C appeared to trigger key epigenetic events of gene modulation in effectively combating cancer cells, which the placebo was unable to do. PMID:25780677

  14. The Testis Is a Primary Factor That Contributes to Epigenetic Modifications in the Ovaries of the Protandrous Black Porgy, Acanthopagrus schlegelii.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guan-Chung; Li, Hau-Wen; Huang, Chih-Hsiang; Lin, Hong-Jia; Lin, Chien-Ju; Chang, Ching-Fong

    2016-06-01

    In most hermaphroditic fish, the sexual phase of the gonad responds to external stimuli so that only one sex remains functional while the other sex becomes dormant. However, protandrous black porgy are male during their first two reproductive cycles. Estradiol (E2)-induced female growth results in a transient and immature female, and the sexual phase reverts from female to male after E2 is withdrawn. Conversely, excising the testis results in a precocious female when performed during the second reproductive cycle. We used these characteristics to study epigenetic modifications of cyp19a1a promoter in black porgy. Our results showed that higher levels of gonadotropins receptors were observed in testis than in ovary during the alteration of sexual phase from induced femaleness to maleness, and hCG treatment did not stimulate ovarian gene expression in male (1-yr-old maleness) and female phase (testis excision-induced femaleness) fish. The cyp19a1a promoter exhibited tissue- and lineage-specific methylation patterns. The follicle cells in the ovary had a hypomethylated (0%-20%) cyp19a1a promoter region. In the ovary, the first sign of female phase decision was decreased methylation levels and increased numbers of hypomethylated clones of cyp19a1a promoter during the natural sex change process. Similar methylation patterns were observed in the testis-removed ovary 1 mo after surgery, with no histological difference between the sham and the testis-removed fish. Conversely, there was no increase in methylation levels of cyp19a1a promoter in E2-fed fish. These results suggest that in the digonic gonad of black porgy, the testis is the primary tissue that affects epigenetics of the ovary. PMID:27103447

  15. Genetic background and epigenetic modifications in the core of the nucleus accumbens predict addiction-like behavior in a rat model.

    PubMed

    Flagel, Shelly B; Chaudhury, Sraboni; Waselus, Maria; Kelly, Rebeca; Sewani, Salima; Clinton, Sarah M; Thompson, Robert C; Watson, Stanley J; Akil, Huda

    2016-05-17

    This study provides a demonstration in the rat of a clear genetic difference in the propensity for addiction-related behaviors following prolonged cocaine self-administration. It relies on the use of selectively bred high-responder (bHR) and low-responder (bLR) rat lines that differ in several characteristics associated with "temperament," including novelty-induced locomotion and impulsivity. We show that bHR rats exhibit behaviors reminiscent of human addiction, including persistent cocaine-seeking and increased reinstatement of cocaine seeking. To uncover potential underlying mechanisms of this differential vulnerability, we focused on the core of the nucleus accumbens and examined expression and epigenetic regulation of two transcripts previously implicated in bHR/bLR differences: fibroblast growth factor (FGF2) and the dopamine D2 receptor (D2). Relative to bHRs, bLRs had lower FGF2 mRNA levels and increased association of a repressive mark on histones (H3K9me3) at the FGF2 promoter. These differences were apparent under basal conditions and persisted even following prolonged cocaine self-administration. In contrast, bHRs had lower D2 mRNA under basal conditions, with greater association of H3K9me3 at the D2 promoter and these differences were no longer apparent following prolonged cocaine self-administration. Correlational analyses indicate that the association of H3K9me3 at D2 may be a critical substrate underlying the propensity to relapse. These findings suggest that low D2 mRNA levels in the nucleus accumbens core, likely mediated via epigenetic modifications, may render individuals more susceptible to cocaine addiction. In contrast, low FGF2 levels, which appear immutable even following prolonged cocaine exposure, may serve as a protective factor. PMID:27114539

  16. Genetic background and epigenetic modifications in the core of the nucleus accumbens predict addiction-like behavior in a rat model

    PubMed Central

    Flagel, Shelly B.; Chaudhury, Sraboni; Waselus, Maria; Kelly, Rebeca; Sewani, Salima; Clinton, Sarah M.; Thompson, Robert C.; Watson, Stanley J.; Akil, Huda

    2016-01-01

    This study provides a demonstration in the rat of a clear genetic difference in the propensity for addiction-related behaviors following prolonged cocaine self-administration. It relies on the use of selectively bred high-responder (bHR) and low-responder (bLR) rat lines that differ in several characteristics associated with “temperament,” including novelty-induced locomotion and impulsivity. We show that bHR rats exhibit behaviors reminiscent of human addiction, including persistent cocaine-seeking and increased reinstatement of cocaine seeking. To uncover potential underlying mechanisms of this differential vulnerability, we focused on the core of the nucleus accumbens and examined expression and epigenetic regulation of two transcripts previously implicated in bHR/bLR differences: fibroblast growth factor (FGF2) and the dopamine D2 receptor (D2). Relative to bHRs, bLRs had lower FGF2 mRNA levels and increased association of a repressive mark on histones (H3K9me3) at the FGF2 promoter. These differences were apparent under basal conditions and persisted even following prolonged cocaine self-administration. In contrast, bHRs had lower D2 mRNA under basal conditions, with greater association of H3K9me3 at the D2 promoter and these differences were no longer apparent following prolonged cocaine self-administration. Correlational analyses indicate that the association of H3K9me3 at D2 may be a critical substrate underlying the propensity to relapse. These findings suggest that low D2 mRNA levels in the nucleus accumbens core, likely mediated via epigenetic modifications, may render individuals more susceptible to cocaine addiction. In contrast, low FGF2 levels, which appear immutable even following prolonged cocaine exposure, may serve as a protective factor. PMID:27114539

  17. Epigenetic modification of long interspersed elements-1 in cumulus cells of mature and immature oocytes from patients with polycystic ovary syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Wasinarom, Artisa; Sereepapong, Wisan; Sirayapiwat, Porntip; Rattanatanyong, Prakasit; Mutirangura, Apiwat

    2016-01-01

    Objective The long interspersed elements (LINE-1, L1s) are a group of genetic elements found in large numbers in the human genome that can translate into phenotype by controlling genes. Growing evidence supports the role of epigenetic in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the DNA methylation levels in LINE-1 in a tissue-specific manner using cumulus cells from patients with PCOS compared with normal controls. Methods The study included 19 patients with PCOS and 22 control patients who were undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. After oocyte retrieval, cumulus cells were extracted. LINE-1 DNA methylation levels were analysed by bisulfite treatment, polymerase chain reaction, and restriction enzyme digestion. The Connection Up- and Down-Regulation Expression Analysis of Microarrays software package was used to compare the gene regulatory functions of intragenic LINE-1. Results The results showed higher LINE-1 DNA methylation levels in the cumulus cells of mature oocytes in PCOS patients, 79.14 (±2.66) vs. 75.40 (±4.92); p=0.004, but no difference in the methylation of cumulus cells in immature oocytes between PCOS and control patients, 70.33 (±4.79) vs. 67.79 (±5.17); p=0.155. However, LINE-1 DNA methylation levels were found to be higher in the cumulus cells of mature oocytes than in those of immature oocytes in both PCOS and control patients. Conclusion These findings suggest that the epigenetic modification of LINE-1 DNA may play a role in regulating multiple gene expression that affects the pathophysiology and development of mature oocytes in PCOS. PMID:27358825

  18. Oocyte ageing and epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Zhao-Jia; Schatten, Heide; Zhang, Cui-Lian; Sun, Qing-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    It has become a current social trend for women to delay childbearing. However, the quality of oocytes from older females is compromised and the pregnancy rate of older women is lower. With the increased rate of delayed childbearing, it is becoming more and more crucial to understand the mechanisms underlying the compromised quality of oocytes from older women, including mitochondrial dysfunctions, aneuploidy and epigenetic changes. Establishing proper epigenetic modifications during oogenesis and early embryo development is an important aspect in reproduction. The reprogramming process may be influenced by external and internal factors that result in improper epigenetic changes in germ cells. Furthermore, germ cell epigenetic changes might be inherited by the next generations. In this review, we briefly summarise the effects of ageing on oocyte quality. We focus on discussing the relationship between ageing and epigenetic modifications, highlighting the epigenetic changes in oocytes from advanced-age females and in post-ovulatory aged oocytes as well as the possible underlying mechanisms. PMID:25391845

  19. Epigenetics and pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Stefanska, Barbara; MacEwan, David J

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Antiproliferation of berberine is mediated by epigenetic modification of constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) metabolic pathway in hepatoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lei; Miao, Xiao-Jie; Wang, Xin; Pan, Hai-Hui; Li, Pu; Ren, Hong; Jia, Yong-Rui; Lu, Chuang; Wang, Hong-Bing; Yuan, Lan; Zhang, Guo-Liang

    2016-01-01

    Constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) regulates hepatic xenobiotic and energy metabolism, as well as promotes cell growth and hepatocarcinogenesis. Berberine is an ancient multipotent alkaloid drug which derived from Coptis chinensis plants. Here we report that berberine is able to be cellular uptake and accessible to chromatin in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Berberine induces more apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, but less ROS production in CAR overexpressed mCAR-HepG2 cells. Moreover, berberine inhibits expressions of CAR and its target genes CYP2B6 and CYP3A4. Furthermore, berberine enhances DNA methylation level in whole genome but reduces that in promoter regions CpG sites of CYP2B6 and CYP3A4 genes under the presence of CAR condition. These results indicated that the antiproliferation of berberine might be mediated by the unique epigenetic modifying mechanism of CAR metabolic pathway, suggesting that berberine is a promising candidate in anticancer adjuvant chemotherapy, due to its distinct pharmacological properties in clinic. PMID:27311637

  1. Antiproliferation of berberine is mediated by epigenetic modification of constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) metabolic pathway in hepatoma cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Miao, Xiao-Jie; Wang, Xin; Pan, Hai-Hui; Li, Pu; Ren, Hong; Jia, Yong-Rui; Lu, Chuang; Wang, Hong-Bing; Yuan, Lan; Zhang, Guo-Liang

    2016-01-01

    Constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) regulates hepatic xenobiotic and energy metabolism, as well as promotes cell growth and hepatocarcinogenesis. Berberine is an ancient multipotent alkaloid drug which derived from Coptis chinensis plants. Here we report that berberine is able to be cellular uptake and accessible to chromatin in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Berberine induces more apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, but less ROS production in CAR overexpressed mCAR-HepG2 cells. Moreover, berberine inhibits expressions of CAR and its target genes CYP2B6 and CYP3A4. Furthermore, berberine enhances DNA methylation level in whole genome but reduces that in promoter regions CpG sites of CYP2B6 and CYP3A4 genes under the presence of CAR condition. These results indicated that the antiproliferation of berberine might be mediated by the unique epigenetic modifying mechanism of CAR metabolic pathway, suggesting that berberine is a promising candidate in anticancer adjuvant chemotherapy, due to its distinct pharmacological properties in clinic. PMID:27311637

  2. Role of Viral miRNAs and Epigenetic Modifications in Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Gastric Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Giudice, Aldo; D'Arena, Giovanni; Crispo, Anna; Tecce, Mario Felice; Nocerino, Flavia; Grimaldi, Maria; Rotondo, Emanuela; D'Ursi, Anna Maria; Scrima, Mario; Galdiero, Massimiliano; Ciliberto, Gennaro; Capunzo, Mario; Franci, Gianluigi; Barbieri, Antonio; Bimonte, Sabrina; Montella, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs are short (21–23 nucleotides), noncoding RNAs that typically silence posttranscriptional gene expression through interaction with target messenger RNAs. Currently, miRNAs have been identified in almost all studied multicellular eukaryotes in the plant and animal kingdoms. Additionally, recent studies reported that miRNAs can also be encoded by certain single-cell eukaryotes and by viruses. The vast majority of viral miRNAs are encoded by the herpesviruses family. These DNA viruses including Epstein-Barr virus encode their own miRNAs and/or manipulate the expression of cellular miRNAs to facilitate respective infection cycles. Modulation of the control pathways of miRNAs expression is often involved in the promotion of tumorigenesis through a specific cascade of transduction signals. Notably, latent infection with Epstein-Barr virus is considered liable of causing several types of malignancies, including the majority of gastric carcinoma cases detected worldwide. In this review, we describe the role of the Epstein-Barr virus in gastric carcinogenesis, summarizing the functions of the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded viral proteins and related epigenetic alterations as well as the roles of Epstein-Barr virus-encoded and virally modulated cellular miRNAs. PMID:26977250

  3. Epigenetic modifications and chromatin loop organization explain the different expression profiles of the Tbrg4, WAP and Ramp3 genes

    SciTech Connect

    Montazer-Torbati, Mohammad Bagher; Hue-Beauvais, Cathy; Droineau, Stephanie; Ballester, Maria; Coant, Nicolas; Aujean, Etienne; Petitbarat, Marie; Rijnkels, Monique; Devinoy, Eve

    2008-03-10

    Whey Acidic Protein (WAP) gene expression is specific to the mammary gland and regulated by lactogenic hormones to peak during lactation. It differs markedly from the more constitutive expression of the two flanking genes, Ramp3 and Tbrg4. Our results show that the tight regulation of WAP gene expression parallels variations in the chromatin structure and DNA methylation profile throughout the Ramp3-WAP-Tbrg4 locus. Three Matrix Attachment Regions (MAR) have been predicted in this locus. Two of them are located between regions exhibiting open and closed chromatin structures in the liver. The third, located around the transcription start site of the Tbrg4 gene, interacts with topoisomerase II in HC11 mouse mammary cells, and in these cells anchors the chromatin loop to the nuclear matrix. Furthermore, if lactogenic hormones are present in these cells, the chromatin loop surrounding the WAP gene is more tightly attached to the nuclear structure, as observed after a high salt treatment of the nuclei and the formation of nuclear halos. Taken together, our results point to a combination of several epigenetic events that may explain the differential expression pattern of the WAP locus in relation to tissue and developmental stages.

  4. Role of Viral miRNAs and Epigenetic Modifications in Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Gastric Carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Giudice, Aldo; D'Arena, Giovanni; Crispo, Anna; Tecce, Mario Felice; Nocerino, Flavia; Grimaldi, Maria; Rotondo, Emanuela; D'Ursi, Anna Maria; Scrima, Mario; Galdiero, Massimiliano; Ciliberto, Gennaro; Capunzo, Mario; Franci, Gianluigi; Barbieri, Antonio; Bimonte, Sabrina; Montella, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs are short (21-23 nucleotides), noncoding RNAs that typically silence posttranscriptional gene expression through interaction with target messenger RNAs. Currently, miRNAs have been identified in almost all studied multicellular eukaryotes in the plant and animal kingdoms. Additionally, recent studies reported that miRNAs can also be encoded by certain single-cell eukaryotes and by viruses. The vast majority of viral miRNAs are encoded by the herpesviruses family. These DNA viruses including Epstein-Barr virus encode their own miRNAs and/or manipulate the expression of cellular miRNAs to facilitate respective infection cycles. Modulation of the control pathways of miRNAs expression is often involved in the promotion of tumorigenesis through a specific cascade of transduction signals. Notably, latent infection with Epstein-Barr virus is considered liable of causing several types of malignancies, including the majority of gastric carcinoma cases detected worldwide. In this review, we describe the role of the Epstein-Barr virus in gastric carcinogenesis, summarizing the functions of the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded viral proteins and related epigenetic alterations as well as the roles of Epstein-Barr virus-encoded and virally modulated cellular miRNAs. PMID:26977250

  5. Early life ethanol exposure causes long-lasting disturbances in rat mesenchymal stem cells via epigenetic modifications.

    PubMed

    Leu, Yu-Wei; Chu, Pei-Yi; Chen, Chien-Min; Yeh, Kun-Tu; Liu, Yu Ming; Lee, Yen-Hui; Kuo, Shan-Tsu; Hsiao, Shu-Huei

    2014-10-24

    Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a birth defect due to maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Because mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the main somatic stem cells in adults and may contribute to tissue homeostasis and repair in adulthood, we investigated whether early life ethanol exposure affects MSCs and contributes to the propensity for disease onset in later life. Using a rodent model of FAS, we found that ethanol exposure (5.25g/kg/day) from postnatal days 4 to 9 in rat pups (mimic of human third trimester) caused long-term anomalies in bone marrow-derived MSCs. MSCs isolated from ethanol-exposed animals were prone to neural induction but resistant to osteogenic and adipogenic inductions compared to their age-matched controls. The altered differentiation may contribute to the severe trabecular bone loss seen in ethanol-exposed animals at 3months of age as well as overt growth retardation. Expression of alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, aP2, and PPARγ were substantially inhibited, but BDNF was up-regulated in MSCs isolated from ethanol-exposed 3month-old animals. Several signaling pathways were distorted in ethanol-exposed MSCs via altered trimethylation at histone 3 lysine 27. These results demonstrate that early life ethanol exposure can have long-term impacts in rat MSCs by both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. PMID:25264105

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. Epigenetics of Obesity.

    PubMed

    Lopomo, A; Burgio, E; Migliore, L

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is a metabolic disease, which is becoming an epidemic health problem: it has been recently defined in terms of Global Pandemic. Over the years, the approaches through family, twins and adoption studies led to the identification of some causal genes in monogenic forms of obesity but the origins of the pandemic of obesity cannot be considered essentially due to genetic factors, because human genome is not likely to change in just a few years. Epigenetic studies have offered in recent years valuable tools for the understanding of the worldwide spread of the pandemic of obesity. The involvement of epigenetic modifications-DNA methylation, histone tails, and miRNAs modifications-in the development of obesity is more and more evident. In the epigenetic literature, there are evidences that the entire embryo-fetal and perinatal period of development plays a key role in the programming of all human organs and tissues. Therefore, the molecular mechanisms involved in the epigenetic programming require a new and general pathogenic paradigm, the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease theory, to explain the current epidemiological transition, that is, the worldwide increase of chronic, degenerative, and inflammatory diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Obesity and its related complications are more and more associated with environmental pollutants (obesogens), gut microbiota modifications and unbalanced food intake, which can induce, through epigenetic mechanisms, weight gain, and altered metabolic consequences. PMID:27288829

  9. Sunitinib dose-escalation overcomes transient resistance in clear cell renal cell carcinoma and is associated with epigenetic modifications

    PubMed Central

    Adelaiye, Remi; Ciamporcero, Eric; Miles, Kiersten Marie; Sotomayor, Paula; Bard, Jonathan; Tsompana, Maria; Conroy, Dylan; Shen, Li; Ramakrishnan, Swathi; Ku, Sheng-Yu; Orillion, Ashley; Prey, Joshua; Fetterly, Gerald; Buck, Michael; Chintala, Sreenivasulu; Bjarnason, Georg A.; Pili, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Sunitinib is considered a first-line therapeutic option for patients with advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Despite sunitinib clinical efficacy, eventually patients develop drug resistance and disease progression. Herein, we tested the hypothesis whether initial sunitinib resistance may be transient and could be overcome by dose increase. In selected patients initially treated with 50 mg sunitinib and presenting with minimal toxicities, sunitinib dose was escalated to 62.5 mg and/or 75 mg at the time of tumor progression. Mice bearing two different patient-derived ccRCC xenografts (PDXs) were treated 5 days/week with a dose-escalation schema (40-60-80 mg/kg sunitinib). Tumor tissues were collected prior to dose increments for immunohistochemistry analyses and drug levels. Selected intra-patient sunitinib dose escalation was safe and several patients had added progression free survival. In parallel, our preclinical results showed that PDXs, although initially responsive to sunitinib at 40 mg/kg, eventually developed resistance. When the dose was incrementally increased, again we observed tumor response to sunitinib. A resistant phenotype was associated with transient increase of tumor vasculature despite intratumor sunitinib accumulation at higher dose. In addition, we observed associated changes in the expression of the methyltransferase EZH2 and histone marks at the time of resistance. Furthermore, specific EZH2 inhibition resulted in increased in vitro anti-tumor effect of sunitinib. Overall, our results suggest that initial sunitinib-induced resistance may be overcome, in part, by increasing the dose, and highlight the potential role of epigenetic changes associated with sunitinib resistance that can represent new targets for therapeutic intervention. PMID:25519701

  10. Early life ethanol exposure causes long-lasting disturbances in rat mesenchymal stem cells via epigenetic modifications

    SciTech Connect

    Leu, Yu-Wei; Chu, Pei-Yi; Chen, Chien-Min; Yeh, Kun-Tu; Liu, Yu Ming; Lee, Yen-Hui; Kuo, Shan-Tsu; Hsiao, Shu-Huei

    2014-10-24

    Highlights: • Ethanol exposure alters proliferation and differentiation of MSCs. • Ethanol exposure suppresses osteogenesis and adipogenesis of MSCs. • H3K27me3-associated genes/pathways are affected in ethanol-exposed MSCs. • Expression of lineage-specific genes is dysregulated in ethanol-exposed MSCs. - Abstract: Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a birth defect due to maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Because mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the main somatic stem cells in adults and may contribute to tissue homeostasis and repair in adulthood, we investigated whether early life ethanol exposure affects MSCs and contributes to the propensity for disease onset in later life. Using a rodent model of FAS, we found that ethanol exposure (5.25 g/kg/day) from postnatal days 4 to 9 in rat pups (mimic of human third trimester) caused long-term anomalies in bone marrow-derived MSCs. MSCs isolated from ethanol-exposed animals were prone to neural induction but resistant to osteogenic and adipogenic inductions compared to their age-matched controls. The altered differentiation may contribute to the severe trabecular bone loss seen in ethanol-exposed animals at 3 months of age as well as overt growth retardation. Expression of alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, aP2, and PPARγ were substantially inhibited, but BDNF was up-regulated in MSCs isolated from ethanol-exposed 3 month-old animals. Several signaling pathways were distorted in ethanol-exposed MSCs via altered trimethylation at histone 3 lysine 27. These results demonstrate that early life ethanol exposure can have long-term impacts in rat MSCs by both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms.

  11. Histone modifications: implications in renal cell carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, Swathi; Ellis, Leigh; Pili, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    In 2012, an estimated 64,770 men and women were diagnosed with malignancy of the kidney and renal pelvis, of which 13,570 succumbed to their disease. Common genetic aberrations in renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) include loss of function of the VHL gene in clear-cell RCC, overexpression of the c-MET gene in papillary RCC type I, deficiency in the FH gene in papillary RCC type II and loss of heterozygozity of the BHD gene in chromophobe RCC. Recent studies illustrate epigenetic silencing of VHL, as well as alterations in histone modifications and their governing enzymes. The possibility of reversing these epigenetic marks has resulted in efforts to target these changes by utilizing inhibitors of HDACs, DNA methyltransferases and, recently, histone methyltransferases in preclinical and clinical studies. This article focuses on potential therapeutic interventions, and the implications of histone modifications and related enzyme alterations in RCC. PMID:23895657

  12. An update on the epigenetics of glioblastomas.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Wallax Augusto Silva; Pinheiro, Danilo do Rosário; Costa Junior, Carlos Antonio da; Rodrigues-Antunes, Symara; Araújo, Mariana Diniz; Leão Barros, Mariceli Baia; Teixeira, Adriana Corrêa de Souza; Faro, Thamirys Aline Silva; Burbano, Rommel Rodriguez; Oliveira, Edivaldo Herculano Correa de; Harada, Maria Lúcia; Borges, Bárbara do Nascimento

    2016-09-01

    Glioblastomas, also known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), are the most aggressive and malignant type of primary brain tumor in adults, exhibiting notable variability at the histopathological, genetic and epigenetic levels. Recently, epigenetic alterations have emerged as a common hallmark of many tumors, including GBM. Considering that a deeper understanding of the epigenetic modifications that occur in GBM may increase the knowledge regarding the tumorigenesis, progression and recurrence of this disease, in this review we discuss the recent major advances in GBM epigenetics research involving histone modification, glioblastoma stem cells, DNA methylation, noncoding RNAs expression, including their main alterations and the use of epigenetic therapy as a valid option for GBM treatment. PMID:27585647

  13. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Depression

    PubMed Central

    Nestler, Eric J.

    2014-01-01

    Growing evidence supports the hypothesis that epigenetics is a key mechanism through which environmental exposures interact with an individual’s genetic constitution to determine risk for depression throughout life.1 Epigenetics, in its broadest meaning, refers to stable changes in gene expression that are mediated via altered chromatin structure without modification of DNA sequence. According to this hypothesis, severe stress triggers changes—in vulnerable individuals—in chromatin structure at particular genomic loci in the brain’s limbic regions, which drive sustained changes in gene expression that contribute to episodes of depression. A corollary of this hypothesis is that such stress-induced epigenetic modifications also occur early in life and help determine an individual’s lifetime vulnerability or resistance to subsequent stressful events. PMID:24499927

  14. 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

  15. Epigenetic modifications of GABAergic interneurons are associated with the schizophrenia-like phenotype induced by prenatal stress in mice.

    PubMed

    Matrisciano, Francesco; Tueting, Patricia; Dalal, Ishani; Kadriu, Bashkim; Grayson, Dennis R; Davis, John M; Nicoletti, Ferdinando; Guidotti, Alessandro

    2013-05-01

    Human studies suggest that a variety of prenatal stressors are related to high risk for cognitive and behavioral abnormalities associated with psychiatric illness (Markham and Koenig, 2011). Recently, a downregulation in the expression of GABAergic genes (i.e., glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 and reelin) associated with DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) overexpression in GABAergic neurons has been regarded as a characteristic phenotypic component of the neuropathology of psychotic disorders (Guidotti et al., 2011). Here, we characterized mice exposed to prenatal restraint stress (PRS) in order to study neurochemical and behavioral abnormalities related to development of schizophrenia in the adult. Offspring born from non-stressed mothers (control mice) showed high levels of DNMT1 and 3a mRNA expression in the frontal cortex at birth, but these levels progressively decreased at post-natal days (PND) 7, 14, and 60. Offspring born from stressed mothers (PRS mice) showed increased levels of DNMTs compared to controls at all time-points studied including at birth and at PND 60. Using GAD67-GFP transgenic mice, we established that, in both control and PRS mice, high levels of DNMT1 and 3a were preferentially expressed in GABAergic neurons of frontal cortex and hippocampus. Importantly, the overexpression of DNMT in GABAergic neurons was associated with a decrease in reelin and GAD67 expression in PRS mice in early and adult life. PRS mice also showed an increased binding of DNMT1 and MeCP2, and an increase in 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in specific CpG-rich regions of the reelin and GAD67 promoters. Thus, the epigenetic changes in PRS mice are similar to changes observed in the post-mortem brains of psychiatric patients. Behaviorally, adult PRS mice showed hyperactivity and deficits in social interaction, prepulse inhibition, and fear conditioning that were corrected by administration of valproic acid (a histone deacetylase inhibitor) or clozapine (an

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

    PubMed

    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 (F0(DSS)), or non-supplemented tap water (F0(Ctrl)) 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 F0(DSS) males exhibited aberrant methylation and expression patterns of multiple genes, including Igf1r and Nr4a2, which are involved in energy metabolism. Importantly, DSS colitis in F0(DSS) 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 F0(Ctrl) males. This study hence demonstrates epigenetic transmissibility of metabolic and inflammatory traits resulting from experimental colitis. PMID:27538787

  17. 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. PMID:25364280

  18. 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

  19. Is Glioblastoma an Epigenetic Malignancy?

    PubMed Central

    Maleszewska, Marta; Kaminska, Bozena

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications control gene expression by regulating the access of nuclear proteins to their target DNA and have been implicated in both normal cell differentiation and oncogenic transformation. Epigenetic abnormalities can occur both as a cause and as a consequence of cancer. Oncogenic transformation can deeply alter the epigenetic information enclosed in the pattern of DNA methylation or histone modifications. In addition, in some cancers epigenetic dysfunctions can drive oncogenic transformation. Growing evidence emphasizes the interplay between metabolic disturbances, epigenomic changes and cancer, i.e., mutations in the metabolic enzymes SDH, FH, and IDH may contribute to cancer development. Epigenetic-based mechanisms are reversible and the possibility of “resetting” the abnormal cancer epigenome by applying pharmacological or genetic strategies is an attractive, novel approach. Gliomas are incurable with all current therapeutic approaches and new strategies are urgently needed. Increasing evidence suggests the role of epigenetic events in development and/or progression of gliomas. In this review, we summarize current data on the occurrence and significance of mutations in the epigenetic and metabolic enzymes in pathobiology of gliomas. We discuss emerging therapies targeting specific epigenetic modifications or chromatin modifying enzymes either alone or in combination with other treatment regimens. PMID:24202337

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  1. Epigenetic Regulation of Polymerase II Transcription Initiation in Trypanosoma cruzi: Modulation of Nucleosome Abundance, Histone Modification, and Polymerase Occupancy by O-Linked Thymine DNA Glucosylation▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Ekanayake, Dilrukshi; Sabatini, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Very little is understood regarding how transcription is initiated/regulated in the early-diverging eukaryote Trypanosoma cruzi. Unusually for a eukaryote, genes transcribed by RNA polymerase (Pol) II in T. cruzi are arranged in polycistronic transcription units (PTUs). On the basis of this gene organization, it was previously thought that trypanosomes rely solely on posttranscriptional processes to regulate gene expression. We recently localized a novel glucosylated thymine DNA base, called base J, to potential promoter regions of PTUs throughout the trypanosome genome. Loss of base J, following the deletion of JBP1, a thymidine hydroxylase involved with synthesis, led to a global increase in the Pol II transcription rate and gene expression. In order to determine the mechanism by which base J regulates transcription, we have characterized changes in chromatin structure and Pol II recruitment to promoter regions following the loss of base J. The loss of base J coincides with a decrease in nucleosome abundance, increased histone H3/H4 acetylation, and increased Pol II occupancy at promoter regions, including the well-characterized spliced leader RNA gene promoter. These studies present the first direct evidence for epigenetic regulation of Pol II transcription initiation via DNA modification and chromatin structure in kinetoplastids as well as provide a mechanism for regulation of trypanosome gene expression via the novel hypermodified base J. PMID:21926332

  2. Heterogeneity of epigenetic changes at ischemia/reperfusion- and endotoxin-induced acute kidney injury genes

    PubMed Central

    Mar, Daniel; Gharib, Sina A.; Zager, Richard A.; Johnson, Ali; Denisenko, Oleg; Bomsztyk, Karol

    2015-01-01

    Aberrant gene expression is a molecular hallmark of acute kidney injury (AKI). Since epigenetic processes control gene expression in a cell- and environment-defined manner, understanding the epigenetic pathways that regulate genes altered by AKI may open vital new insights into the complexities of disease pathogenesis and identify possible therapeutic targets. Here we used matrix chromatin immunoprecipitation and integrative analysis to study twenty key permissive and repressive epigenetic histone marks at transcriptionally induced Tnf, Ngal, Kim-1 and Icam-1 genes in mouse models of AKI; unilateral renal ischemia/reperfusion, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and their synergistically injurious combination. Results revealed unexpected heterogeneity of transcriptional and epigenetic responses. Tnf and Ngal were transcriptionally upregulated in response to both treatments individually, and to combination treatment. Kim-1 was induced by ischemia/reperfusion and Icam-1 by LPS only. Epigenetic alterations at these genes exhibited distinct time-dependent changes that shared some similarities, such as reduction in repressive histone modifications, but also had major ischemia/reperfusion vs. endotoxin differences. Thus, diversity of changes at AKI genes in response to different insults indicates involvement of several epigenetic pathways. This could be exploited pharmacologically through rational-drug design to alter the course and improve clinical outcomes of this syndrome. PMID:26061546

  3. Heterogeneity of epigenetic changes at ischemia/reperfusion- and endotoxin-induced acute kidney injury genes.

    PubMed

    Mar, Daniel; Gharib, Sina A; Zager, Richard A; Johnson, Ali; Denisenko, Oleg; Bomsztyk, Karol

    2015-10-01

    Aberrant gene expression is a molecular hallmark of acute kidney injury (AKI). As epigenetic processes control gene expression in a cell- and environment-defined manner, understanding the epigenetic pathways that regulate genes altered by AKI may open vital new insights into the complexities of disease pathogenesis and identify possible therapeutic targets. Here we used matrix chromatin immunoprecipitation and integrative analysis to study 20 key permissive and repressive epigenetic histone marks at transcriptionally induced Tnf, Ngal, Kim-1, and Icam-1 genes in mouse models of AKI; unilateral renal ischemia/reperfusion, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and their synergistically injurious combination. Results revealed unexpected heterogeneity of transcriptional and epigenetic responses. Tnf and Ngal were transcriptionally upregulated in response to both treatments individually, and to combination treatment. Kim-1 was induced by ischemia/reperfusion and Icam-1 by LPS only. Epigenetic alterations at these genes exhibited distinct time-dependent changes that shared some similarities, such as reduction in repressive histone modifications, and also had major ischemia/reperfusion versus endotoxin differences. Thus, diversity of changes at AKI genes in response to different insults indicates involvement of several epigenetic pathways. This could be exploited pharmacologically through rational-drug design to alter the course and improve clinical outcomes of this syndrome. PMID:26061546

  4. 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

  5. Epigenetic activities of flavonoids in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

    PubMed

    Busch, Christian; Burkard, Markus; Leischner, Christian; Lauer, Ulrich M; Frank, Jan; Venturelli, Sascha

    2015-01-01

    Aberrant epigenetic modifications are described in an increasing number of pathological conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus type 2, obesity and cancer. The general reversibility of epigenetic changes makes them an attractive and promising target e.g. in the treatment of cancer. Thus, a growing number of epigenetically active compounds are currently tested in clinical trials for their therapeutic potential. Interestingly, many phytochemicals present in plant foods, particularly flavonoids, are suggested to be able to alter epigenetic cellular mechanisms. Flavonoids are natural phenol compounds that form a large group of secondary plant metabolites with interesting biological activities. They can be categorized into six major subclasses, which display diverse properties affecting the two best characterized epigenetic mechanisms: modulation of the DNA methylation status and histone acetylation. High dietary flavonoid intake has strongly been suggested to reduce the risk of numerous cancer entities in a large body of epidemiological studies. Established health-promoting effects of diets rich in fruit and vegetables are faced by efforts to use purified flavonoids as supplements or pharmaceuticals, whereupon data on the latter applications remain controversial. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of current research on flavonoids to further elucidate their potential in cancer prevention and therapy, thereby focusing on their distinct epigenetic activities. PMID:26161152

  6. 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. PMID:27462204

  7. Epigenetic dysregulation in cognitive disorders.

    PubMed

    Gräff, Johannes; Mansuy, Isabelle M

    2009-07-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are not only essential for biological functions requiring stable molecular changes such as the establishment of cell identity and tissue formation, they also constitute dynamic intracellular processes for translating environmental stimuli into modifications in gene expression. Over the past decade it has become increasingly clear that both aspects of epigenetic mechanisms play a pivotal role in complex brain functions. Evidence from patients with neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Rett syndrome indicated that epigenetic mechanisms and chromatin remodeling need to be tightly controlled for proper cognitive functions, and their dysregulation can have devastating consequences. However, because they are dynamic, epigenetic mechanisms are also potentially reversible and may provide powerful means for pharmacological intervention. This review outlines major cognitive disorders known to be associated with epigenetic dysregulation, and discusses the potential of 'epigenetic medicine' as a promising cure. PMID:19508697

  8. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Drug Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Jian; Nestler, Eric J.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation can mediate long-lasting changes in gene expression, which makes it an attractive mechanism for the stable behavioral abnormalities that characterize drug addiction. Recent research has unveiled numerous types of epigenetic modifications within the brain’s reward circuitry in animal models of drug addiction. In this review, we summarize the latest advances in the field, focusing on histone modifications, DNA methylation, and non-coding RNAs. We also highlight several areas for future research. Unraveling the highly complex epigenetic mechanisms of addiction is adding to our understanding of this syndrome and has the potential to trigger novel approaches for better diagnosis and therapy. PMID:23374537

  9. 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. PMID:27165992

  10. 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.

  11. Effect of in ovo feeding of folic acid on the folate metabolism, immune function and epigenetic modification of immune effector molecules of broiler.

    PubMed

    Li, Shizhao; Zhi, Lihui; Liu, Yanli; Shen, Jing; Liu, Lei; Yao, Junhu; Yang, Xiaojun

    2016-02-14

    This study was conducted to investigate the effect of in ovo feeding (IOF) of folic acid on the folate metabolism, immune function and the involved epigenetic modification of broilers. A total of 400 (Cobb) hatching eggs were randomly divided into four groups (0, 50, 100 and 150 µg injection of folic acid at embryonic age 11 d), and chicks hatched from each treatment were randomly divided into six replicates with 12 broilers/replicate after incubation. The results indicated that, in ovo, 100- and 150-µg folic acid injections improved the hatchability. The average daily gain and feed conversion ratio increased in the 150-µg group during the late growth stage. Simultaneously, in the 100- and 150-µg groups, an increase was observed in hepatic folate content and the expression of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (d1 and 42) and methionine synthase reductase (d21). IgG and IgM concentrations, as well as plasma lysozyme activity of broilers, showed a marked increase along with increasing folic acid levels. The splenic expression levels of IL-2 and IL-4 were up-regulated, whereas that of IL-6 was down-regulated, in the 100- and 150-µg folic acid treatment groups. In addition, histone methylation in IL-2 and IL-4 promoters exhibited an enrichment of H3K4m2 but a loss of H3K9me2 with the increased amount of folic acid additive. In contrast, a decrease in H3K4m2 and an increase in H3K9me2 were observed in the IL-6 promoter in folic acid treatments. Furthermore, in ovo, the 150-µg folic acid injection improved the chromatin tightness of the IL-2 and IL-4 promoter regions. Our findings suggest that IOF of 150 µg of folic acid can improve the growth performance and folate metabolism of broilers, and enhance the relationship between immune function and epigenetic regulation of immune genes, which are involved with the alterations in chromatin conformation and histone methylation in their promoters. PMID:26586196

  12. The Nuclear DNA Sensor IFI16 Acts as a Restriction Factor for Human Papillomavirus Replication through Epigenetic Modifications of the Viral Promoters

    PubMed Central

    Lo Cigno, Irene; De Andrea, Marco; Borgogna, Cinzia; Albertini, Silvia; Landini, Manuela M.; Peretti, Alberto; Johnson, Karen E.; Chandran, Bala; Landolfo, Santo

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The human interferon-inducible IFI16 protein, an innate immune sensor of intracellular DNA, was recently demonstrated to act as a restriction factor for human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection by inhibiting both viral-DNA replication and transcription. Through the use of two distinct cellular models, this study provides strong evidence in support of the notion that IFI16 can also restrict human papillomavirus 18 (HPV18) replication. In the first model, an immortalized keratinocyte cell line (NIKS) was used, in which the IFI16 protein was knocked down through the use of small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology and overexpressed following transduction with the adenovirus IFI16 (AdVIFI16) vector. The second model consisted of U2OS cells transfected by electroporation with HPV18 minicircles. In differentiated IFI16-silenced NIKS-HPV18 cells, viral-load values were significantly increased compared with differentiated control cells. Consistent with this, IFI16 overexpression severely impaired HPV18 replication in both NIKS and U2OS cells, thus confirming its antiviral restriction activity. In addition to the inhibition of viral replication, IFI16 was also able to reduce viral transcription, as demonstrated by viral-gene expression analysis in U2OS cells carrying episomal HPV18 minicircles and HeLa cells. We also provide evidence that IFI16 promotes the addition of heterochromatin marks and the reduction of euchromatin marks on viral chromatin at both early and late promoters, thus reducing both viral replication and transcription. Altogether, these results argue that IFI16 restricts chromatinized HPV DNA through epigenetic modifications and plays a broad surveillance role against viral DNA in the nucleus that is not restricted to herpesviruses. IMPORTANCE Intrinsic immunity is mediated by cellular restriction factors that are constitutively expressed and active even before a pathogen enters the cell. The host nuclear factor IFI

  13. [Relationship between epigenetics of sperm and embryogenesis].

    PubMed

    He, Yan-Fang; Ma, Jie-Hua; Pan, Lian-Jun; Huang, Yu-Feng

    2014-08-01

    Epigenetics comprises the modifications made in gene expressions without changing the DNA sequence itself. Significant epigenetic changes take place during spermatogenesis and fertilization and exert direct influences on embryogenesis. This article provides an overview of the latest researches on epigenetics of male germ cells and a brief discussion on the correlation of sperm with embryogenesis in four aspects: DNA methylation, histone modification, regulation of non-coding RNAs, and genomic imprinting. PMID:25195372

  14. Restoring totipotency through epigenetic reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Wasson, Jadiel A.; Ruppersburg, Chelsey C.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are implicated in the maintenance and regulation of transcriptional memory by marking genes that were previously transcribed to facilitate transmission of these expression patterns through cell division. During germline specification and maintenance, extensive epigenetic modifications are acquired. Yet somehow at fertilization, the fusion of the highly differentiated sperm and egg results in formation of the totipotent zygote. This massive change in cell fate implies that the selective erasure and maintenance of epigenetic modifications at fertilization may be critical for the re-establishment of totipotency. In this review, we discuss recent studies that provide insight into the extensive epigenetic reprogramming that occurs around fertilization and the mechanisms that may be involved in the re-establishment of totipotency in the embryo. PMID:23117862

  15. [Epigenetic regulation in spermatogenesis].

    PubMed

    Xu, Chen; Song, Ning

    2014-05-01

    Spermatogenesis is a process consisting of spermatogonial proliferation, spermatocytic meiosis, and spermiogenesis, and is also considered to be a process in which heterochromatins gradually aggregate and finally reach a highly condensed formation in the sperm head. Recent studies show that epigenetic regulation plays a key role in spermatogenesis. This review discusses the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation in spermatogenesis in three aspects, DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNAs. These factors are essential for spermatogenesis, fertilization, and embryogenesis by mutual regulation as well as by gene expression regulation, transposon activation, sex chromosome inactivation, and genome imprinting. PMID:24908726

  16. Complex disease, gender and epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Kaminsky, Zachary; Wang, Sun-Chong; Petronis, Arturas

    2006-01-01

    Gender differences in susceptibility to complex disease such as asthma, diabetes, lupus, autism and major depression, among numerous other disorders, represent one of the hallmarks of non-Mendelian biology. It has been generally accepted that endocrinological differences are involved in the sexual dimorphism of complex disease; however, specific molecular mechanisms of such hormonal effects have not been elucidated yet. This paper will review evidence that sex hormone action may be mediated via gene-specific epigenetic modifications of DNA and histones. The epigenetic modifications can explain sex effects at DNA sequence polymorphisms and haplotypes identified in gender-stratified genetic linkage and association studies. Hormone-induced DNA methylation and histone modification changes at specific gene regulatory regions may increase or reduce the risk of a disease. The epigenetic interpretation of sexual dimorphism fits well into the epigenetic theory of complex disease, which argues for the primary pathogenic role of inherited and/or acquired epigenetic misregulation rather than DNA sequence variation. The new experimental strategies, especially the high throughput microarray-based epigenetic profiling, can be used for testing the epigenetic hypothesis of gender effects in complex diseases. PMID:17438668

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

    PubMed Central

    Zan, Hong; Casali, Paolo

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-01

    The role of the NF2 gene in the development of meningiomas has recently been documented; inactivating mutations plus allelic loss at 22q, the site of this gene (at 22q12), have been identified in both sporadic and neurofibromatosis type 2-associated tumors. Although epigenetic inactivation through aberrant CpG island methylation of the NF2 5' flanking region has been documented in schwannoma (another NF2-associated neoplasm), data on participation of this epigenetic modification in meningiomas are not yet widely available. Using methylation-specific PCR (MSP) plus sequencing, we assessed the presence of aberrant promoter NF2 methylation in a series of 88 meningiomas (61 grade I, 24 grade II, and 3 grade III), in which the allelic constitution at 22q and the NF2 mutational status also were determined by RFLP/microsatellite and PCR-SSCP analyses. Chromosome 22 allelic loss, NF2 gene mutation, and aberrant NF2 promoter methylation were detected in 49%, 24%, and 26% of cases, respectively. Aberrant NF2 methylation with loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at 22q was found in five cases, and aberrant methylation with NF2 mutation in another; LOH 22q and the mutation were found in 16 samples. The aberrant methylation of the NF2 gene also was the sole alteration in 15 samples, most of which were from grade I tumors. These results indicate that aberrant NF2 hypermethylation may participate in the development of a significant proportion of sporadic meningiomas, primarily those of grade I. PMID:15609345

  19. Expression of 5 S rRNA genes linked to 35 S rDNA in plants, their epigenetic modification and regulatory element divergence

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In plants, the 5 S rRNA genes usually occur as separate tandems (S-type arrangement) or, less commonly, linked to 35 S rDNA units (L-type). The activity of linked genes remains unknown so far. We studied the homogeneity and expression of 5 S genes in several species from family Asteraceae known to contain linked 35 S-5 S units. Additionally, their methylation status was determined using bisulfite sequencing. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was applied to reveal the sub-nuclear positions of rDNA arrays. Results We found that homogenization of L-type units went to completion in most (4/6) but not all species. Two species contained major L-type and minor S-type units (termed Ls-type). The linked genes dominate 5 S rDNA expression while the separate tandems do not seem to be expressed. Members of tribe Anthemideae evolved functional variants of the polymerase III promoter in which a residing C-box element differs from the canonical angiosperm motif by as much as 30%. On this basis, a more relaxed consensus sequence of a plant C-box: (5’-RGSWTGGGTG-3’) is proposed. The 5 S paralogs display heavy DNA methylation similarly as to their unlinked counterparts. FISH revealed the close association of 35 S-5 S arrays with nucleolar periphery indicating that transcription of 5 S genes may occur in this territory. Conclusions We show that the unusual linked arrangement of 5 S genes, occurring in several plant species, is fully compatible with their expression and functionality. This extraordinary 5 S gene dynamics is manifested at different levels, such as variation in intrachromosomal positions, unit structure, epigenetic modification and considerable divergence of regulatory motifs. PMID:22716941

  20. 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

  1. Unlocking epigenetic codes in neurogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Bing; Jin, Peng

    2014-01-01

    During embryonic and adult neurogenesis, neuronal stem cells follow a highly conserved path of differentiation to give rise to functional neurons at various developmental stages. Epigenetic regulation—including DNA modifications, histone modifications, and noncoding regulatory RNAs, such as microRNA (miRNA) and long noncoding RNA (lncRNA)—plays a pivotal role in embryonic and adult neurogenesis. Here we review the latest in our understanding of the epigenetic regulation in neurogenesis, with a particular focus on newly identified cytosine modifications and their dynamics, along with our perspective for future studies. PMID:24939932

  2. Redox modification of ryanodine receptors by mitochondria-derived reactive oxygen species contributes to aberrant Ca2+ handling in ageing rabbit hearts.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Leroy L; Li, Weiyan; Lu, Yichun; Centracchio, Jason; Terentyeva, Radmila; Koren, Gideon; Terentyev, Dmitry

    2013-12-01

    Ageing is associated with a blunted response to sympathetic stimulation and an increased risk of arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. Aberrant calcium (Ca(2+)) handling is an important contributor to the electrical and contractile dysfunction associated with ageing. Yet, the specific molecular mechanisms underlying abnormal Ca(2+) handling in ageing heart remain poorly understood. In this study, we used ventricular myocytes isolated from young (5-9 months) and old (4-6 years) rabbit hearts to test the hypothesis that changes in Ca(2+) homeostasis are caused by post-translational modification of ryanodine receptors (RyRs) by mitochondria-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated in the ageing heart. Changes in parameters of Ca(2+) handling were determined by measuring cytosolic and intra-sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) dynamics in intact and permeabilized ventricular myocytes using confocal microscopy. We also measured age-related changes in ROS production and mitochondria membrane potential using a ROS-sensitive dye and a mitochondrial voltage-sensitive fluorescent indicator, respectively. In permeablized myocytes, ageing did not change SERCA activity and spark frequency but decreased spark amplitude and SR Ca(2+) load suggesting increased RyR activity. Treatment with the antioxidant dithiothreitol reduced RyR-mediated SR Ca(2+) leak in permeabilized myocytes from old rabbit hearts to the level comparable to young. Moreover, myocytes from old rabbits had more depolarized mitochondria membrane potential and increased rate of ROS production. Under β-adrenergic stimulation, Ca(2+) transient amplitude, SR Ca(2+) load, and latency of pro-arrhythmic spontaneous Ca(2+) waves (SCWs) were decreased while RyR-mediated SR Ca(2+) leak was increased in cardiomyocytes from old rabbits. Additionally, with β-adrenergic stimulation, scavenging of mitochondrial ROS in myocytes from old rabbit hearts restored redox status of RyRs, which reduced SR Ca(2+) leak, ablated most

  3. 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...

  4. Multitarget Drugs: an Epigenetic Epiphany.

    PubMed

    Ganesan, A

    2016-06-20

    Epigenetics refers to changes in a biological phenotype that are not due to an underlying change in genotype. In eukaryotes, epigenetics involves a set of chemical modifications of the DNA and the histone proteins in nucleosomes. These dynamic changes are carried out by enzymes and modulate protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions to determine whether specific genes are expressed or silenced. Both the epigenetic enzymes and recognition domains are currently important drug discovery targets, particularly for the treatment of cancer. This review summarizes the progress of epigenetic targets that have reached a clinical stage: DNA methyltransferases, histone deacetylases, lysine methyltransferases, lysine demethylases, and bromodomains; this is followed by a comprehensive survey of multitarget drugs that have included an epigenetic target as one of their mechanisms of action. PMID:26891251

  5. Epigenetics in acute kidney injury

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Jinhua; Zhuang, Shougang

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of review Recent advances in epigenetics indicate the involvement of several epigenetic modifications in the pathogenesis of acute kidney injury (AKI). The purpose of this review is to summarize our understanding of recent advances in epigenetic regulation of AKI and provide mechanistic insight into the role of acetylation, methylation, and microRNA expression in the pathological processes of AKI. Recent findings Enhancement of protein acetylation by pharmacological inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) leads to more severe tubular injury and impairment of renal structural and functional recovery. The changes in promoter DNA methylation occur in the kidney with ischemia/reperfusion. microRNA expression is associated with regulation of both renal injury and regeneration after AKI. Summary Recent studies on epigenetic regulation indicate that acetylation, methylation, and microRNA expression are critically implicated in the pathogenesis of AKI. Strategies targeting epigenetic processes may hold a therapeutic potential for patients with AKI. PMID:26050122

  6. Metabolic Mechanisms of Epigenetic Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Meier, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    Chromatin modifications have been well-established to play a critical role in the regulation of genome function. Many of these modifications are introduced and removed by enzymes that utilize cofactors derived from primary metabolism. Recently, it has been shown that endogenous cofactors and metabolites can regulate the activity of chromatin-modifying enzymes, providing a direct link between the metabolic state of the cell and epigenetics. Here we review metabolic mechanisms of epigenetic regulation with an emphasis on their role in cancer. Focusing on three core mechanisms, we detail and draw parallels between metabolic and chemical strategies to modulate epigenetic signaling, and highlight opportunities for chemical biologists to help shape our knowledge of this emerging phenomenon. Continuing to integrate our understanding of metabolic and genomic regulatory mechanisms may help elucidate the role of nutrition in diseases such as cancer, while also providing a basis for new approaches to modulate epigenetic signaling for therapeutic benefit. PMID:24228614

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

    PubMed

    Gallego-Durán, Rocío; Romero-Gómez, Manuel

    2015-10-28

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an emerging health concern in both developed and non-developed world, encompassing from simple steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and liver cancer. Incidence and prevalence of this disease are increasing due to the socioeconomic transition and change to harmful diet. Currently, gold standard method in NAFLD diagnosis is liver biopsy, despite complications and lack of accuracy due to sampling error. Further, pathogenesis of NAFLD is not fully understood, but is well-known that obesity, diabetes and metabolic derangements played a major role in disease development and progression. Besides, gut microbioma and host genetic and epigenetic background could explain considerable interindividual variability. Knowledge that epigenetics, heritable events not caused by changes in DNA sequence, contribute to development of diseases has been a revolution in the last few years. Recently, evidences are accumulating revealing the important role of epigenetics in NAFLD pathogenesis and in NASH genesis. Histone modifications, changes in DNA methylation and aberrant profiles or microRNAs could boost development of NAFLD and transition into clinical relevant status. PNPLA3 genotype GG has been associated with a more progressive disease and epigenetics could modulate this effect. The impact of epigenetic on NAFLD progression could deserve further applications on therapeutic targets together with future non-invasive methods useful for the diagnosis and staging of NAFLD. PMID:26523202

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

    PubMed Central

    Gallego-Durán, Rocío; Romero-Gómez, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an emerging health concern in both developed and non-developed world, encompassing from simple steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and liver cancer. Incidence and prevalence of this disease are increasing due to the socioeconomic transition and change to harmful diet. Currently, gold standard method in NAFLD diagnosis is liver biopsy, despite complications and lack of accuracy due to sampling error. Further, pathogenesis of NAFLD is not fully understood, but is well-known that obesity, diabetes and metabolic derangements played a major role in disease development and progression. Besides, gut microbioma and host genetic and epigenetic background could explain considerable interindividual variability. Knowledge that epigenetics, heritable events not caused by changes in DNA sequence, contribute to development of diseases has been a revolution in the last few years. Recently, evidences are accumulating revealing the important role of epigenetics in NAFLD pathogenesis and in NASH genesis. Histone modifications, changes in DNA methylation and aberrant profiles or microRNAs could boost development of NAFLD and transition into clinical relevant status. PNPLA3 genotype GG has been associated with a more progressive disease and epigenetics could modulate this effect. The impact of epigenetic on NAFLD progression could deserve further applications on therapeutic targets together with future non-invasive methods useful for the diagnosis and staging of NAFLD. PMID:26523202

  9. 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.

  10. Chromatin, epigenetics and stem cells.

    PubMed

    Roloff, Tim C; Nuber, Ulrike A

    2005-03-01

    Epigenetics is a term that has changed its meaning with the increasing biological knowledge on developmental processes. However, its current application to stem cell biology is often imprecise and is conceptually problematic. This article addresses two different subjects, the definition of epigenetics and chromatin states of stem and differentiated cells. We describe mechanisms that regulate chromatin changes and provide an overview of chromatin states of stem and differentiated cells. Moreover, a modification of the current epigenetics definition is proposed that is not restricted by the heritability of gene expression throughout cell divisions and excludes translational gene expression control. PMID:15819395

  11. 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

  12. Epigenetics: Tools and Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Janzen, William P.; Wigle, Tim J.; Jin, Jian; Frye, Stephen V.

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetics refers to heritable changes that control how the genome is accessed in different cell-types and during development and differentiation. Even though each cell contains essentially the same genetic code, epigenetic mechanisms permit specialization of function between cells. The state of chromatin, the complex of histone proteins, RNA and DNA that efficiently package the genome, is largely regulated by specific modifications to histone proteins and DNA, and the recognition of these marks by other proteins and protein complexes. The enzymes that produce these modifications (the ‘writers’), the proteins that recognize them (the ‘readers’), and the enzymes that remove them (the ‘erasers’) are critical targets for manipulation in order to further understand the histone code and its role in biology and human disease. PMID:21243036

  13. 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

  14. The epigenetic effects of aspirin: the modification of histone H3 lysine 27 acetylation in the prevention of colon carcinogenesis in azoxymethane- and dextran sulfate sodium-treated CF-1 mice.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yue; Liu, Yue; Zhang, Chengyue; Su, Zheng-Yuan; Li, Wenji; Huang, Mou-Tuan; Kong, Ah-Ng

    2016-06-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide. Chronic inflammation appears to enhance the risk of CRC. Emerging evidence has suggested that epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in CRC. Aspirin [acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)] has been shown to prevent CRC; however, the epigenetic mechanisms of its action remain unknown. This study investigated the protective role of ASA in azoxymethane (AOM)-initiated and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-promoted colitis-associated colon cancer (CAC) and examined the epigenetic effects, particularly on histone 3 lysine 27 acetylation (H3K27ac), underlying the preventive effect of ASA. CF-1 mice were fed with AIN-93M diet with or without 0.02% ASA from 1 week prior to AOM initiation until the mice were killed 20 weeks after AOM injection. Our results showed that AOM/DSS + ASA significantly suppressed inflammatory colitis symptoms and tumor multiplicity. AOM/DSS + ASA reduced AOM/DSS-induced protein expression and the activity of histone deacetylases (HDACs) and globally restored H3K27ac. Furthermore, AOM/DSS + ASA inhibited AOM/DSS-induced enrichment of H3K27ac in the promoters of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) that corresponded to the dramatic suppression of the messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels. Surprisingly, no significant changes in the H3K27ac abundance in the prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (Cox-2) promoters or in the Cox-2 mRNA and protein expression were observed. Collectively, our results suggest that a potential novel epigenetic mechanism underlies the chemopreventive effects of ASA, and this mechanism attenuates CAC in AOM/DSS-induced CF-1 mice via the inhibition of HDACs and the modification of H3K27ac marks that suppress iNOS, TNF-α and IL-6. PMID:27207670

  15. Design of small-molecule epigenetic modulators

    PubMed Central

    Pachaiyappan, Boobalan

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Epigenetic field cancerization in gastrointestinal cancers.

    PubMed

    Baba, Yoshifumi; Ishimoto, Takatsugu; Kurashige, Junji; Iwatsuki, Masaaki; Sakamoto, Yasuo; Yoshida, Naoya; Watanabe, Masayuki; Baba, Hideo

    2016-06-01

    Epigenetic alterations, including aberrant DNA methylation, play an important role in human cancer development. Importantly, epigenetic alterations are reversible and can be targets for therapy or chemoprevention for various types of human cancers. A field for cancerization, or a field defect, is formed by the accumulation of genetic and/or epigenetic alterations in normal-appearing tissues and can correlate with risk of cancer development. Thus, a better understanding of epigenetic field cancerization may represent a useful translational opportunity for cancer risk assessment, including previous history and exposure to carcinogenic factors, and for cancer prevention. In this article, we summarize current knowledge regarding epigenetic field cancerization and its clinical implications in gastrointestinal cancers, including colorectal cancer, gastric cancer and esophageal cancer. PMID:26971491

  17. Horizons of psychiatric genetics and epigenetics: where are we and where are we heading?

    PubMed

    Mostafavi Abdolmaleky, Hamid

    2014-01-01

    Today multinational studies using genome-wide association scan (GWAS) for >1000,000 polymorphisms on >100,000 cases with major psychiatric diseases versus controls, combined with next-generation sequencing have found ~100 genetic polymorphisms associated with schizophrenia (SCZ), bipolar disorder (BD), autism, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), etc. However, the effect size of each genetic mutation has been generally low (<1%), and altogether could portray a tiny fraction of these mental diseases. Furthermore, none of these polymorphisms was specific to disease phenotypes indicating that they are simply genetic risk factors rather than causal mutations. The lack of identification of the major gene(s) in huge genetic studies increased the tendency for reexamining the roles of environmental factors in psychiatric and other complex diseases. However, this time at cellular/molecular levels mediated by epigenetic mechanisms that are heritable, but reversible while interacting with the environment. Now, gene-specific or whole-genome epigenetic analyses have introduced hundreds of aberrant epigenetic marks in the blood or brain of individuals with psychiatric diseases that include aberrations in DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA expression. Interestingly, most of the current psychiatric drugs such as valproate, lithium, antidepressants, antipsychotics and even electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) modulate epigenetic codes. The existing data indicate that, the impacts of environment/nurture, including the uterine milieu and early-life events might be more significant than genetic/nature in most psychiatric diseases. The lack of significant results in large-scale genetic studies led to revise the bolded roles of genetics and now we are at the turning point of genomics for reconsidering environmental factors that through epigenetic mechanisms may impact the brain development/functions causing disease phenotypes. PMID:25780369

  18. Epigenetic regulation of inflammatory cytokines and associated genes in human malignancies.

    PubMed

    Yasmin, Rehana; Siraj, Sami; Hassan, Amjad; Khan, Abdul Rehman; Abbasi, Rashda; Ahmad, Nafees

    2015-01-01

    Inflammation is a multifaceted defense response of immune system against infection. Chronic inflammation has been implicated as an imminent threat for major human malignancies and is directly linked to various steps involved in tumorigenesis. Inflammatory cytokines, interleukins, interferons, transforming growth factors, chemokines, and adhesion molecules have been associated with chronic inflammation. Numerous cytokines are reported to be aberrantly regulated by different epigenetic mechanisms like DNA methylation and histone modifications in tumor tissues, contributing to pathogenesis of tumor in multiple ways. Some of these cytokines also work as epigenetic regulators of other crucial genes in tumor biology, either directly or indirectly. Such regulations are reported in lung, breast, cervical, gastric, colorectal, pancreatic, prostate, and head and neck cancers. Epigenetics of inflammatory mediators in cancer is currently subject of extensive research. These investigations may help in understanding cancer biology and to develop effective therapeutic strategies. The purpose of this paper is to have a brief view of the aberrant regulation of inflammatory cytokines in human malignancies. PMID:25814785

  19. Epigenetic Regulation of Inflammatory Cytokines and Associated Genes in Human Malignancies

    PubMed Central

    Yasmin, Rehana; Hassan, Amjad; Khan, Abdul Rehman; Abbasi, Rashda; Ahmad, Nafees

    2015-01-01

    Inflammation is a multifaceted defense response of immune system against infection. Chronic inflammation has been implicated as an imminent threat for major human malignancies and is directly linked to various steps involved in tumorigenesis. Inflammatory cytokines, interleukins, interferons, transforming growth factors, chemokines, and adhesion molecules have been associated with chronic inflammation. Numerous cytokines are reported to be aberrantly regulated by different epigenetic mechanisms like DNA methylation and histone modifications in tumor tissues, contributing to pathogenesis of tumor in multiple ways. Some of these cytokines also work as epigenetic regulators of other crucial genes in tumor biology, either directly or indirectly. Such regulations are reported in lung, breast, cervical, gastric, colorectal, pancreatic, prostate, and head and neck cancers. Epigenetics of inflammatory mediators in cancer is currently subject of extensive research. These investigations may help in understanding cancer biology and to develop effective therapeutic strategies. The purpose of this paper is to have a brief view of the aberrant regulation of inflammatory cytokines in human malignancies. PMID:25814785

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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. PMID:24861811

  2. 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

  3. The Interaction between Epigenetics, Nutrition and the Development of Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Bishop, Karen S.; Ferguson, Lynnette R.

    2015-01-01

    Unlike the genome, the epigenome can be modified and hence some epigenetic risk markers have the potential to be reversed. Such modifications take place by means of drugs, diet or environmental exposures. It is widely accepted that epigenetic modifications take place during early embryonic and primordial cell development, but it is also important that we gain an understanding of the potential for such changes later in life. These “later life” epigenetic modifications in response to dietary intervention are the focus of this paper. The epigenetic modifications investigated include DNA methylation, histone modifications and the influence of microRNAs. The epigenotype could be used not only to predict susceptibility to certain cancers but also to assess the effectiveness of dietary modifications to reduce such risk. The influence of diet or dietary components on epigenetic modifications and the impact on cancer initiation or progression has been assessed herein. PMID:25647662

  4. 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

  5. Targeting epigenetic regulations in cancer.

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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. PMID:26458360

  7. Genetics and Epigenetics of the Skin Meet Deep Sequence

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jeffrey B.; Cho, Raymond J.

    2014-01-01

    Rapid advances in next-generation sequencing technology are revolutionizing approaches to genomic and epigenomic studies of skin. Deep sequencing of cutaneous malignancies reveals heavily mutagenized genomes with large numbers of low-prevalence mutations and multiple resistance mechanisms to targeted therapies. Next-generation sequencing approaches have already paid rich dividends in identifying the genetic causes of dermatologic disease, both in heritable mutations and the somatic aberrations that underlie cutaneous mosaicism. Although epigenetic alterations clearly influence tumorigenesis, pluripotent stem cell biology, and epidermal cell lineage decisions, labor and cost-intensive approaches long delayed a genome-scale perspective. New insights into epigenomic mechanisms in skin disease should arise from the accelerating assessment of histone modification, DNA methylation, and related gene expression signatures. PMID:22237701

  8. Understanding the Complexity of Epigenetic Target Space.

    PubMed

    Pande, Vineet

    2016-02-25

    The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the complexity of the epigenetic target space. Chemical modifications of histones and nucleic acids constitute a key epigenetic mechanism. Whereas modifications such as methylation and acetylation are well-known, there are many additional, less explored modifications described here. The writers, readers and erasers of such diverse modifications, which constitute a major portion of the potential epigenetic target space, are discussed, in addition to the various other protein families that do not fall under these three categories. Finally, disease relevance and druggability of epigenetic targets are discussed with concluding remarks about the richness and diversity they will provide for future targeted therapies. PMID:26796965

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  10. Epigenetic Regulation in Plant Responses to the Environment

    PubMed Central

    Baulcombe, David C.; Dean, Caroline

    2014-01-01

    In this article, we review environmentally mediated epigenetic regulation in plants using two case histories. One of these, vernalization, mediates adaptation of plants to different environments and it exemplifies processes that are reset in each generation. The other, virus-induced silencing, involves transgenerationally inherited epigenetic modifications. Heritable epigenetic marks may result in heritable phenotypic variation, influencing fitness, and so be subject to natural selection. However, unlike genetic inheritance, the epigenetic modifications show instability and are influenced by the environment. These two case histories are then compared with other phenomena in plant biology that are likely to represent epigenetic regulation in response to the environment. PMID:25183832

  11. Epigenetic alterations underlying autoimmune diseases.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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. PMID:26761426

  12. 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. PMID:25734378

  13. Analysis of the Hox epigenetic code.

    PubMed

    Ezziane, Zoheir

    2012-04-10

    Archetypes of histone modifications associated with diverse chromosomal states that regulate access to DNA are leading the hypothesis of the histone code (or epigenetic code). However, it is still not evident how these post-translational modifications of histone tails lead to changes in chromatin structure. Histone modifications are able to activate and/or inactivate several genes and can be transmitted to next generation cells due to an epigenetic memory. The challenging issue is to identify or "decrypt" the code used to transmit these modifications to descent cells. Here, an attempt is made to describe how histone modifications operate as part of histone code that stipulates patterns of gene expression. This papers emphasizes particularly on the correlation between histone modifications and patterns of Hox gene expression in Caenorhabditis elegans. This work serves as an example to illustrate the power of the epigenetic machinery and its use in drug design and discovery. PMID:22553504

  14. Epigenetic mechanisms in anti-cancer actions of bioactive food components – the implications in cancer prevention

    PubMed Central

    Stefanska, B; Karlic, H; Varga, F; Fabianowska-Majewska, K; Haslberger, AG

    2012-01-01

    The hallmarks of carcinogenesis are aberrations in gene expression and protein function caused by both genetic and epigenetic modifications. Epigenetics refers to the changes in gene expression programming that alter the phenotype in the absence of a change in DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications, which include amongst others DNA methylation, covalent modifications of histone tails and regulation by non-coding RNAs, play a significant role in normal development and genome stability. The changes are dynamic and serve as an adaptation mechanism to a wide variety of environmental and social factors including diet. A number of studies have provided evidence that some natural bioactive compounds found in food and herbs can modulate gene expression by targeting different elements of the epigenetic machinery. Nutrients that are components of one-carbon metabolism, such as folate, riboflavin, pyridoxine, cobalamin, choline, betaine and methionine, affect DNA methylation by regulating the levels of S-adenosyl-L-methionine, a methyl group donor, and S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine, which is an inhibitor of enzymes catalyzing the DNA methylation reaction. Other natural compounds target histone modifications and levels of non-coding RNAs such as vitamin D, which recruits histone acetylases, or resveratrol, which activates the deacetylase sirtuin and regulates oncogenic and tumour suppressor micro-RNAs. As epigenetic abnormalities have been shown to be both causative and contributing factors in different health conditions including cancer, natural compounds that are direct or indirect regulators of the epigenome constitute an excellent approach in cancer prevention and potentially in anti-cancer therapy. PMID:22536923

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

    PubMed

    Chelladurai, Prakash; Seeger, Werner; Pullamsetti, Soni Savai

    2016-06-01

    Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a severe and progressive disease, characterised by high pulmonary artery pressure that usually culminates in right heart failure. Recent findings of alterations in the DNA methylation state of superoxide dismutase 2 and granulysin gene loci; histone H1 levels; aberrant expression levels of histone deacetylases and bromodomain-containing protein 4; and dysregulated microRNA networks together suggest the involvement of epigenetics in PAH pathogenesis. Thus, PAH pathogenesis evidently involves the interplay of a predisposed genetic background, epigenetic state and injurious events. Profiling the genome-wide alterations in the epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation or histone modification pattern in PAH vascular cells, may explain the great variability in susceptibility and disease severity that is frequently associated with pronounced remodelling and worse clinical outcome. Moreover, the influence of genetic predisposition and the acquisition of epigenetic alterations in response to environmental cues in PAH progression and establishment has largely been unexplored on a genome-wide scale. In order to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms leading to the development of PAH and to design novel therapeutic strategies, high-throughput approaches have to be adopted to facilitate systematic identification of the disease-specific networks using next-generation sequencing technologies, the application of these technologies in PAH has been relatively trivial to date. PMID:27246590

  16. Genetics and epigenetics of cutaneous malignant melanoma: a concert out of tune.

    PubMed

    van den Hurk, Karin; Niessen, Hanneke E C; Veeck, Jürgen; van den Oord, Joost J; van Steensel, Maurice A M; Zur Hausen, Axel; van Engeland, Manon; Winnepenninckx, Véronique J L

    2012-08-01

    Cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is the most life-threatening neoplasm of the skin and is considered a major health problem as both incidence and mortality rates continue to rise. Once CMM has metastasized it becomes therapy-resistant and is an inevitably deadly disease. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that are involved in the initiation and progression of CMM is crucial for overcoming the commonly observed drug resistance as well as developing novel targeted treatment strategies. This molecular knowledge may further lead to the identification of clinically relevant biomarkers for early CMM detection, risk stratification, or prediction of response to therapy, altogether improving the clinical management of this disease. In this review we summarize the currently identified genetic and epigenetic alterations in CMM development. Although the genetic components underlying CMM are clearly emerging, a complete picture of the epigenetic alterations on DNA (DNA methylation), RNA (non-coding RNAs), and protein level (histone modifications, Polycomb group proteins, and chromatin remodeling) and the combinatorial interactions between these events is lacking. More detailed knowledge, however, is accumulating for genetic and epigenetic interactions in the aberrant regulation of the INK4b-ARF-INK4a and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) loci. Importantly, we point out that it is this interplay of genetics and epigenetics that effectively leads to distorted gene expression patterns in CMM. PMID:22503822

  17. Epigenetic regulators and their impact on therapy in acute myeloid leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Pastore, Friederike; Levine, Ross L.

    2016-01-01

    Genomic studies of hematologic malignancies have identified a spectrum of recurrent somatic alterations that contribute to acute myeloid leukemia initiation and maintenance, and which confer sensitivities to molecularly targeted therapies. The majority of these genetic events are small, site-specific alterations in DNA sequence. In more than two thirds of patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia mutations epigenetic modifiers are detected. Epigenetic modifiers encompass a large group of proteins that modify DNA at cytosine residues or cause post-translational histone modifications such as methylations or acetylations. Altered functions of these epigenetic modifiers disturb the physiological balance between gene activation and gene repression and contribute to aberrant gene expression regulation found in acute myeloid leukemia. This review provides an overview of the epigenetic modifiers mutated in acute myeloid leukemia, their clinical relevance and how a deeper understanding of their biological function has led to the discovery of new specific targets, some of which are currently tested in mechanism-based clinical trials. PMID:26928248

  18. Epigenetic regulators and their impact on therapy in acute myeloid leukemia.

    PubMed

    Pastore, Friederike; Levine, Ross L

    2016-03-01

    Genomic studies of hematologic malignancies have identified a spectrum of recurrent somatic alterations that contribute to acute myeloid leukemia initiation and maintenance, and which confer sensitivities to molecularly targeted therapies. The majority of these genetic events are small, site-specific alterations in DNA sequence. In more than two thirds of patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia mutations epigenetic modifiers are detected. Epigenetic modifiers encompass a large group of proteins that modify DNA at cytosine residues or cause post-translational histone modifications such as methylations or acetylations. Altered functions of these epigenetic modifiers disturb the physiological balance between gene activation and gene repression and contribute to aberrant gene expression regulation found in acute myeloid leukemia. This review provides an overview of the epigenetic modifiers mutated in acute myeloid leukemia, their clinical relevance and how a deeper understanding of their biological function has led to the discovery of new specific targets, some of which are currently tested in mechanism-based clinical trials. PMID:26928248

  19. Inhibition of the mevalonate pathway affects epigenetic regulation in cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Karlic, Heidrun; Thaler, Roman; Gerner, Christopher; Grunt, Thomas; Proestling, Katharina; Haider, Florian; Varga, Franz

    2015-01-01

    The mevalonate pathway provides metabolites for post-translational modifications such as farnesylation, which are critical for the activity of RAS downstream signaling. Subsequently occurring regulatory processes can induce an aberrant stimulation of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT1) as well as changes in histone deacetylases (HDACs) and microRNAs in many cancer cell lines. Inhibitors of the mevalonate pathway are increasingly recognized as anticancer drugs. Extensive evidence indicates an intense cross-talk between signaling pathways, which affect growth, differentiation, and apoptosis either directly or indirectly via epigenetic mechanisms. Herein, we show data obtained by novel transcriptomic and corresponding methylomic or proteomic analyses from cell lines treated with pharmacologic doses of respective inhibitors (i.e., simvastatin, ibandronate). Metabolic pathways and their epigenetic consequences appear to be affected by a changed concentration of NADPH. Moreover, since the mevalonate metabolism is part of a signaling network, including vitamin D metabolism or fatty acid synthesis, the epigenetic activity of associated pathways is also presented. This emphasizes the far-reaching epigenetic impact of metabolic therapies on cancer cells and provides some explanation for clinical observations, which indicate the anticancer activity of statins and bisphosphonates. PMID:25978957

  20. Silent assassin: oncogenic ras directs epigenetic inactivation of target genes.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xiaodong

    2008-01-01

    Oncogenic transformation is associated with genetic changes and epigenetic alterations. A study now shows that oncogenic Ras uses a complex and elaborate epigenetic silencing program to specifically repress the expression of multiple unrelated cancer-suppressing genes through a common pathway. These results suggest that cancer-related epigenetic modifications may arise through a specific and instructive mechanism and that genetic changes and epigenetic alterations are intimately connected and contribute to tumorigenesis cooperatively. PMID:18385037

  1. Aberrant methylation patterns in cancer: a clinical view

    PubMed Central

    Paska, Alja Videtic; Hudler, Petra

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, DNA hydroxymethylation, post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histone proteins affecting nucleosome remodelling, and regulation by small and large non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) work in concert with cis and trans acting elements to drive appropriate gene expression. Advances in detection methods and development of dedicated platforms and methylation arrays resulted in an explosion of information on aberrantly methylated sequences linking deviations in epigenetic landscape with the initiation and progression of complex diseases. Here, we consider how DNA methylation changes in malignancies, such as breast, pancreatic, colorectal, and gastric cancer could be exploited for the purpose of developing specific diagnostic tools. DNA methylation changes can be applicable as biomarkers for detection of malignant disease in easily accessible tissues. Methylation signatures are already proving to be an important marker for determination of drug sensitivity. Even more, promoter methylation patterns of some genes, such as MGMT, SHOX2, and SEPT9, have already been translated into commercial clinical assays aiding in patient assessment as adjunct diagnostic tools. In conclusion, the changes in DNA methylation patterns in tumour cells are slowly gaining entrance into routine diagnostic tests as promising biomarkers and as potential therapeutic targets. PMID:26110029

  2. Orchestrating epigenetic roles targeting ocular tumors

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Xuyang; Lu, Linna; He, Zhang; Fan, Xianqun

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics is currently one of the most promising areas of study in the field of biomedical research. Scientists have dedicated their efforts to studying epigenetic mechanisms in cancer for centuries. Additionally, the field has expanded from simply studying DNA methylation to other areas, such as histone modification, non-coding RNA, histone variation, nucleosome location, and chromosome remodeling. In ocular tumors, a large amount of epigenetic exploration has expanded from single genes to the genome-wide level. Most importantly, because epigenetic changes are reversible, several epigenetic drugs have been developed for the treatment of cancer. Herein, we review the current understanding of epigenetic mechanisms in ocular tumors, including but not limited to retinoblastoma and uveal melanoma. Furthermore, the development of new pharmacological strategies is summarized. PMID:27013893

  3. Targeting DNA Methylation for Epigenetic Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiaojing; Lay, Fides; Han, Han; Jones, Peter A.

    2010-01-01

    DNA methylation patterns are established during embryonic development and faithfully copied through somatic cell divisions. Based on our understanding of DNA methylation and other interrelated epigenetic modifications, a comprehensive view of the epigenetic landscape and cancer epigenome is evolving. The cancer methylome is highly disrupted, making DNA methylation an excellent target for anti-cancer therapies. During the last few decades, an increasing number of drugs targeting DNA methylation have been developed in an effort to increase efficacy, stability and to decrease toxicity. The earliest and the most successful epigenetic drug to date, 5-Azacytidine, is currently recommended as the first-line treatment for high risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients. Encouraging results from clinical trials have prompted further efforts to elucidate epigenetic alterations in cancer and subsequently develop new epigenetic therapies. This review delineates the latest cancer epigenetic models, recent discovery of hypomethylation agents and their application in the clinic. PMID:20846732

  4. Epigenetics and microRNAs in Preeclampsia

    PubMed Central

    Choudhury, Mahua; Friedman, Jacob E.

    2012-01-01

    Strong evidence suggests a potential link among epigenetics, microRNAs (miRNAs), and pregnancy complications. Much research still needs to be carried out to determine whether epigenetic factors are predictive in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia (PE), a life-threatening disease during pregnancy. Recently, the importance of maternal epigenetic features, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, epigenetically regulated miRNA, and the effect of imprinted or non-imprinted genes on trophoblast growth, invasion, as well as fetal development and hypertension in pregnancy, has been demonstrated in a series of articles. This article discusses the current evidence of this complicated network of miRNA and epigenetic factors as potential mechanisms that may underlie the theories of disease for PE. Translating these basic epigenetic findings to clinical practice could potentially serve as prognostic biomarkers for diagnosis in its early stages and could help in the development of prophylactic strategies. PMID:22468840

  5. Orchestrating epigenetic roles targeting ocular tumors.

    PubMed

    Wen, Xuyang; Lu, Linna; He, Zhang; Fan, Xianqun

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics is currently one of the most promising areas of study in the field of biomedical research. Scientists have dedicated their efforts to studying epigenetic mechanisms in cancer for centuries. Additionally, the field has expanded from simply studying DNA methylation to other areas, such as histone modification, non-coding RNA, histone variation, nucleosome location, and chromosome remodeling. In ocular tumors, a large amount of epigenetic exploration has expanded from single genes to the genome-wide level. Most importantly, because epigenetic changes are reversible, several epigenetic drugs have been developed for the treatment of cancer. Herein, we review the current understanding of epigenetic mechanisms in ocular tumors, including but not limited to retinoblastoma and uveal melanoma. Furthermore, the development of new pharmacological strategies is summarized. PMID:27013893

  6. Mechanisms of epigenetic memory and addiction

    PubMed Central

    Tuesta, Luis M; Zhang, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation of cellular identity and function is at least partly achieved through changes in covalent modifications on DNA and histones. Much progress has been made in recent years to understand how these covalent modifications affect cell identity and function. Despite the advances, whether and how epigenetic factors contribute to memory formation is still poorly understood. In this review, we discuss recent progress in elucidating epigenetic mechanisms of learning and memory, primarily at the DNA level, and look ahead to discuss their potential implications in reward memory and development of drug addiction. PMID:24778453

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

    SciTech Connect

    Jensen, Taylor J.; Wozniak, Ryan J.; Eblin, Kylee E.; Wnek, Sean M.; Gandolfi, A. Jay; Futscher, Bernard W.

    2009-02-15

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

  8. Epigenetic regulation of asthma and allergic disease

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetics of asthma and allergic disease is a field that has expanded greatly in the last decade. Previously thought only in terms of cell differentiation, it is now evident the epigenetics regulate many processes. With T cell activation, commitment toward an allergic phenotype is tightly regulated by DNA methylation and histone modifications at the Th2 locus control region. When normal epigenetic control is disturbed, either experimentally or by environmental exposures, Th1/Th2 balance can be affected. Epigenetic marks are not only transferred to daughter cells with cell replication but they can also be inherited through generations. In animal models, with constant environmental pressure, epigenetically determined phenotypes are amplified through generations and can last up to 2 generations after the environment is back to normal. In this review on the epigenetic regulation of asthma and allergic diseases we review basic epigenetic mechanisms and discuss the epigenetic control of Th2 cells. We then cover the transgenerational inheritance model of epigenetic traits and discuss how this could relate the amplification of asthma and allergic disease prevalence and severity through the last decades. Finally, we discuss recent epigenetic association studies for allergic phenotypes and related environmental risk factors as well as potential underlying mechanisms for these associations. PMID:24932182

  9. 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

  10. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Penile Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Kuasne, Hellen; Marchi, Fabio Albuquerque; Rogatto, Silvia Regina; de Syllos Cólus, Ilce Mara

    2013-01-01

    Penile carcinoma (PeCa) represents an important public health problem in poor and developing countries. Despite its unpredictable behavior and aggressive treatment, there have only been a few reports regarding its molecular data, especially epigenetic mechanisms. The functional diversity in different cell types is acquired by chromatin modifications, which are established by epigenetic regulatory mechanisms involving DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and miRNAs. Recent evidence indicates that the dysregulation in these processes can result in the development of several diseases, including cancer. Epigenetic alterations, such as the methylation of CpGs islands, may reveal candidates for the development of specific markers for cancer detection, diagnosis and prognosis. There are a few reports on the epigenetic alterations in PeCa, and most of these studies have only focused on alterations in specific genes in a limited number of cases. This review aims to provide an overview of the current knowledge of the epigenetic alterations in PeCa and the promising results in this field. The identification of epigenetically altered genes in PeCa is an important step in understanding the mechanisms involved in this unexplored disease. PMID:23702847

  11. 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

  12. The epigenetic paradigm in periodontitis pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Lavu, Vamsi; Venkatesan, Vettriselvi; Rao, Suresh Ranga

    2015-01-01

    Epigenome refers to “epi” meaning outside the “genome.” Epigenetics is the field of study of the epigenome. Epigenetic modifications include changes in the promoter CpG Islands, modifications of histone protein structure, posttranslational repression by micro-RNA which contributes to the alteration of gene expression. Epigenetics provides an understanding of the role of gene-environment interactions on disease phenotype especially in complex multifactorial diseases. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the supporting structures of the tooth. The role of the genome (in terms of genetic polymorphisms) in periodontitis pathogenesis has been examined in numerous studies, and chronic periodontitis has been established as a polygenic disorder. The potential role of epigenetic modifications in the various facets of pathogenesis of periodontitis is discussed in this paper based on the available literature. PMID:26015662

  13. 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

  14. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol-mediated epigenetic modifications elicit myeloid-derived suppressor cell activation via STAT3/S100A8

    PubMed Central

    Sido, Jessica Margaret; Yang, Xiaoming; Nagarkatti, Prakash S.; Nagarkatti, Mitzi

    2015-01-01

    MDSCs are potent immunosuppressive cells that are induced during inflammatory responses, as well as by cancers, to evade the anti-tumor immunity. We recently demonstrated that marijuana cannabinoids are potent inducers of MDSCs. In the current study, we investigated the epigenetic mechanisms through which THC, an exogenous cannabinoid, induces MDSCs and compared such MDSCs with the naïve MDSCs found in BM of BL6 (WT) mice. Administration of THC into WT mice caused increased methylation at the promoter region of DNMT3a and DNMT3b in THC-induced MDSCs, which correlated with reduced expression of DNMT3a and DNMT3b. Furthermore, promoter region methylation was decreased at Arg1 and STAT3 in THC-induced MDSCs, and consequently, such MDSCs expressed higher levels of Arg1 and STAT3. In addition, THC-induced MDSCs secreted elevated levels of S100A8, a calcium-binding protein associated with accumulation of MDSCs in cancer models. Neutralization of S100A8 by use of anti-S100A8 (8H150) in vivo reduced the ability of THC to trigger MDSCs. Interestingly, the elevated S100A8 expression also promoted the suppressive function of MDSCs. Together, the current study demonstrates that THC mediates epigenetic changes to promote MDSC differentiation and function and that S100A8 plays a critical role in this process. PMID:25713087

  15. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol-mediated epigenetic modifications elicit myeloid-derived suppressor cell activation via STAT3/S100A8.

    PubMed

    Sido, Jessica Margaret; Yang, Xiaoming; Nagarkatti, Prakash S; Nagarkatti, Mitzi

    2015-04-01

    MDSCs are potent immunosuppressive cells that are induced during inflammatory responses, as well as by cancers, to evade the anti-tumor immunity. We recently demonstrated that marijuana cannabinoids are potent inducers of MDSCs. In the current study, we investigated the epigenetic mechanisms through which THC, an exogenous cannabinoid, induces MDSCs and compared such MDSCs with the naïve MDSCs found in BM of BL6 (WT) mice. Administration of THC into WT mice caused increased methylation at the promoter region of DNMT3a and DNMT3b in THC-induced MDSCs, which correlated with reduced expression of DNMT3a and DNMT3b. Furthermore, promoter region methylation was decreased at Arg1 and STAT3 in THC-induced MDSCs, and consequently, such MDSCs expressed higher levels of Arg1 and STAT3. In addition, THC-induced MDSCs secreted elevated levels of S100A8, a calcium-binding protein associated with accumulation of MDSCs in cancer models. Neutralization of S100A8 by use of anti-S100A8 (8H150) in vivo reduced the ability of THC to trigger MDSCs. Interestingly, the elevated S100A8 expression also promoted the suppressive function of MDSCs. Together, the current study demonstrates that THC mediates epigenetic changes to promote MDSC differentiation and function and that S100A8 plays a critical role in this process. PMID:25713087

  16. 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. PMID:26888065

  17. Epigenetic regulation in cardiac fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Li-Ming; Xu, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Cardiac fibrosis represents an adoptive response in the heart exposed to various stress cues. While resolution of the fibrogenic response heralds normalization of heart function, persistent fibrogenesis is usually associated with progressive loss of heart function and eventually heart failure. Cardiac fibrosis is regulated by a myriad of factors that converge on the transcription of genes encoding extracellular matrix proteins, a process the epigenetic machinery plays a pivotal role. In this mini-review, we summarize recent advances regarding the epigenetic regulation of cardiac fibrosis focusing on the role of histone and DNA modifications and non-coding RNAs. PMID:26635926

  18. Environmental chemical exposures and human epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Lifang; Zhang, Xiao; Wang, Dong; Baccarelli, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    Every year more than 13 million deaths worldwide are due to environmental pollutants, and approximately 24% of diseases are caused by environmental exposures that might be averted through preventive measures. Rapidly growing evidence has linked environmental pollutants with epigenetic variations, including changes in DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs. Environ mental chemicals and epigenetic changes All of these mechanisms are likely to play important roles in disease aetiology, and their modifications due to environmental pollutants might provide further understanding of disease aetiology, as well as biomarkers reflecting exposures to environmental pollutants and/or predicting the risk of future disease. We summarize the findings on epigenetic alterations related to environmental chemical exposures, and propose mechanisms of action by means of which the exposures may cause such epigenetic changes. We discuss opportunities, challenges and future directions for future epidemiology research in environmental epigenomics. Future investigations are needed to solve methodological and practical challenges, including uncertainties about stability over time of epigenomic changes induced by the environment, tissue specificity of epigenetic alterations, validation of laboratory methods, and adaptation of bioinformatic and biostatistical methods to high-throughput epigenomics. In addition, there are numerous reports of epigenetic modifications arising following exposure to environmental toxicants, but most have not been directly linked to disease endpoints. To complete our discussion, we also briefly summarize the diseases that have been linked to environmental chemicals-related epigenetic changes. PMID:22253299

  19. Epigenetics: The origins and evolution of a fashionable topic.

    PubMed

    Deichmann, Ute

    2016-08-01

    The term "epigenetics" was introduced in 1942 by embryologist Conrad Waddington, who, relating it to the 17th century concept of "epigenesis", defined it as the complex of developmental processes between the genotype and phenotype. While in the years that followed, these processes - in particular gene regulation - were tackled, not in the frame of epigenetics but of genetics, research labelled "epigenetics" rose strongly only in the 21st century. Then it consisted of research on chromatin modifications, i.e. chemical modifications of DNA or histone proteins around DNA that do not change the base sequence. This rise was accompanied by far-reaching claims, such as that epigenetics provides a mechanism for "Lamarckian" inheritance. This article highlights the origin of epigenetics, the major phases of epigenetic research, and the changes in the meaning of the term. It also calls into question some of the far-reaching claims that have accompanied the recent rise of epigenetics. PMID:27291929

  20. Epigenetic mechanisms involved in developmental nutritional programming

    PubMed Central

    Gabory, Anne; Attig, Linda; Junien, Claudine

    2011-01-01

    The ways in which epigenetic modifications fix the effects of early environmental events, ensuring sustained responses to transient stimuli, which result in modified gene expression patterns and phenotypes later in life, is a topic of considerable interest. This review focuses on recently discovered mechanisms and calls into question prevailing views about the dynamics, position and functions of epigenetic marks. Most epigenetic studies have addressed the long-term effects on a small number of epigenetic marks, at the global or individual gene level, of environmental stressors in humans and animal models. In parallel, increasing numbers of studies based on high-throughput technologies and focusing on humans and mice have revealed additional complexity in epigenetic processes, by highlighting the importance of crosstalk between the different epigenetic marks. A number of studies focusing on the developmental origin of health and disease and metabolic programming have identified links between early nutrition, epigenetic processes and long-term illness. The existence of a self-propagating epigenetic cycle has been demonstrated. Moreover, recent studies demonstrate an obvious sexual dimorphism both for programming trajectories and in response to the same environmental insult. Despite recent progress, we are still far from understanding how, when and where environmental stressors disturb key epigenetic mechanisms. Thus, identifying the original key marks and their changes throughout development during an individual’s lifetime or over several generations remains a challenging issue. PMID:22010058

  1. Histone Modifications and Cancer.

    PubMed

    Audia, James E; Campbell, Robert M

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARYHistone posttranslational modifications represent a versatile set of epigenetic marks involved not only in dynamic cellular processes, such as transcription and DNA repair, but also in the stable maintenance of repressive chromatin. In this article, we review many of the key and newly identified histone modifications known to be deregulated in cancer and how this impacts function. The latter part of the article addresses the challenges and current status of the epigenetic drug development process as it applies to cancer therapeutics. PMID:27037415

  2. Epigenetic Effect of Environmental Factors on Autism Spectrum Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Kubota, Takeo; Mochizuki, Kazuki

    2016-01-01

    Both environmental factors and genetic factors are involved in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Epigenetics, an essential mechanism for gene regulation based on chemical modifications of DNA and histone proteins, is also involved in congenital ASDs. It was recently demonstrated that environmental factors, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals and mental stress in early life, can change epigenetic status and gene expression, and can cause ASDs. Moreover, environmentally induced epigenetic changes are not erased during gametogenesis and are transmitted to subsequent generations, leading to changes in behavior phenotypes. However, epigenetics has a reversible nature since it is based on the addition or removal of chemical residues, and thus the original epigenetic status may be restored. Indeed, several antidepressants and anticonvulsants used for mental disorders including ASDs restore the epigenetic state and gene expression. Therefore, further epigenetic understanding of ASDs is important for the development of new drugs that take advantages of epigenetic reversibility. PMID:27187441

  3. Epigenetic Effect of Environmental Factors on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Takeo; Mochizuki, Kazuki

    2016-01-01

    Both environmental factors and genetic factors are involved in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Epigenetics, an essential mechanism for gene regulation based on chemical modifications of DNA and histone proteins, is also involved in congenital ASDs. It was recently demonstrated that environmental factors, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals and mental stress in early life, can change epigenetic status and gene expression, and can cause ASDs. Moreover, environmentally induced epigenetic changes are not erased during gametogenesis and are transmitted to subsequent generations, leading to changes in behavior phenotypes. However, epigenetics has a reversible nature since it is based on the addition or removal of chemical residues, and thus the original epigenetic status may be restored. Indeed, several antidepressants and anticonvulsants used for mental disorders including ASDs restore the epigenetic state and gene expression. Therefore, further epigenetic understanding of ASDs is important for the development of new drugs that take advantages of epigenetic reversibility. PMID:27187441

  4. Epigenetics in heart failure phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Berezin, Alexander

    2016-12-01

    Chronic heart failure (HF) is a leading clinical and public problem posing a higher risk of morbidity and mortality in different populations. HF appears to be in both phenotypic forms: HF with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (HFrEF) and HF with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (HFpEF). Although both HF phenotypes can be distinguished through clinical features, co-morbidity status, prediction score, and treatment, the clinical outcomes in patients with HFrEF and HFpEF are similar. In this context, investigation of various molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to the development and progression of both HF phenotypes is very important. There is emerging evidence that epigenetic regulation may have a clue in the pathogenesis of HF. This review represents current available evidence regarding the implication of epigenetic modifications in the development of different HF phenotypes and perspectives of epigenetic-based therapies of HF. PMID:27335803

  5. Epigenetic regulation of chronic pain.

    PubMed

    Liang, Lingli; Lutz, Brianna Marie; Bekker, Alex; Tao, Yuan-Xiang

    2015-01-01

    Chronic pain arising from peripheral inflammation and tissue or nerve injury is a common clinical symptom. Although intensive research on the neurobiological mechanisms of chronic pain has been carried out during previous decades, this disorder is still poorly managed by current drugs such as opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Inflammation, tissue injury and/or nerve injury-induced changes in gene expression in sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglion, spinal cord dorsal horn and pain-associated brain regions are thought to participate in chronic pain genesis; however, how these changes occur is still elusive. Epigenetic modifications including DNA methylation and covalent histone modifications control gene expression. Recent studies have shown that peripheral noxious stimulation changes DNA methylation and histone modifications and that these changes may be related to the induction of pain hypersensitivity under chronic pain conditions. This review summarizes the current knowledge and progress in epigenetic research in chronic pain and discusses the potential role of epigenetic modifications as therapeutic antinociceptive targets in this disorder. PMID:25942533

  6. Influence of Toxicologically Relevant Metals on Human Epigenetic Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Dong Hoon; Won, Hye-Rim; Kim, Kyeong Hwan; Seong, Yun Jeong; Kwon, So Hee

    2015-01-01

    Environmental toxicants such as toxic metals can alter epigenetic regulatory features such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNA expression. Heavy metals influence gene expression by epigenetic mechanisms and by directly binding to various metal response elements in the target gene promoters. Given the role of epigenetic alterations in regulating genes, there is potential for the integration of toxic metal-induced epigenetic alterations as informative factors in the risk assessment process. Here, we focus on recent advances in understanding epigenetic changes, gene expression, and biological effects induced by toxic metals. PMID:25874027

  7. Epigenetic layers and players underlying neurodevelopment

    PubMed Central

    LaSalle, Janine M.; Powell, Weston T.; Yasui, Dag H.

    2013-01-01

    Since epigenetic mechanisms convey information above and beyond the sequence of DNA, they are predicted to be critical in the complex regulation of brain development and explain the long-lived effects of environmental cues on pre- and early post-natal brain development. Neurons have a complex epigenetic landscape, which changes dynamically with transcriptional activity in early life. Here we summarize progress on understanding the discrete layers of the dynamic methylome, chromatin proteome, noncoding RNAs, chromatin loops, and long-range interactions in neuronal development and maturation. Many neurodevelopmental disorders have genetic alterations in these epigenetic modifications or regulators, and these human genetics lessons have demonstrated the importance of these epigenetic players and the epigenetic layers that transcriptional events lay down in the early brain. PMID:23731492

  8. An epigenetic resolution of the lek paradox.

    PubMed

    Bonilla, Melvin M; Zeh, Jeanne A; Zeh, David W

    2016-04-01

    Female choice for traits signaling male genetic quality is expected to erode heritable variation in fitness, undermining the benefits of choice. Known as the lek paradox, this contradiction has motivated extensive population genetic theory, yet remains unresolved. Recent modeling by Bonduriansky and Day concludes that costly female preference is best maintained when male condition is determined by environmentally induced factors transmitted across single generations. Here, we reformulate their model in explicitly epigenetic terms, and review evidence that environmentally induced paternal effects are mediated through epigenetic changes in sperm. Noncoding RNA expression, DNA methylation and histone modifications are highly sensitive to diet, stress, toxicants and stochastic events. Epigenetic variation renews each generation and cannot be exhausted by selection. By choosing well-endowed males that produce gametes in epigenetically good states, females can increase their fitness directly through increased fertilization success or indirectly through epigenetic effects on the fitness of offspring and potentially subsequent generations. Also watch the video abstract. PMID:26928130

  9. 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. PMID:26659265

  10. Epigenetic alterations in depression and antidepressant treatment

    PubMed Central

    Menke, Andreas; Binder, Elisabeth B.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25364288

  11. Epigenetics mechanisms in renal development.

    PubMed

    Hilliard, Sylvia A; El-Dahr, Samir S

    2016-07-01

    Appreciation for the role of epigenetic modifications in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases is fast gaining attention. Treatment of chronic kidney disease stemming from diabetes or hypertension as well as Wilms tumor will all profit from knowledge of the changes in the epigenomic landscapes. To do so, it is essential to characterize the epigenomic modifiers and their modifications under normal physiological conditions. The transcription factor Pax2 was identified as a major epigenetic player in the early specification of the kidney. Notably, the progenitors of all nephrons that reside in the cap mesenchyme display a unique bivalent histone signature (expressing repressive epigenetic marks alongside activation marks) on lineage-specific genes. These cells are deemed poised for differentiation and commitment to the nephrogenic lineage. In response to the appropriate inducing signal, these genes lose their repressive histone marks, which allow for their expression in nascent nephron precursors. Such knowledge of the epigenetic landscape and the resultant cell fate or behavior in the developing kidney will greatly improve the overall success in designing regenerative strategies and tissue reprogramming methodologies from pluripotent cells. PMID:26493068

  12. Attenuation of Progressive Hearing Loss in DBA/2J Mice by Reagents that Affect Epigenetic Modifications Is Associated with Up-Regulation of the Zinc Importer Zip4

    PubMed Central

    Mutai, Hideki; Miya, Fuyuki; Fujii, Masato; Tsunoda, Tatsuhiko; Matsunaga, Tatsuo

    2015-01-01

    Various factors that are important for proper hearing have been identified, including serum levels of zinc. Here we investigated whether epigenetic regulatory pathways, which can be modified by environmental factors, could modulate hearing. RT-PCR detected expression of genes encoding DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase (Hdac) in the postnatal as well as adult mouse auditory epithelium. DBA/2J mice, which are a model for progressive hearing loss, were injected subcutaneously with one or a combination of the following reagents: L-methionine as a methyl donor, valproic acid as a pan-Hdac inhibitor, and folic acid and vitamin B12 as putative factors involved in age-related hearing loss. The mice were treated from ages 4 to 12 weeks (N ≥ 5), and auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds were measured at 8, 16, and 32 kHz. Treatment of the mice with a combination of L-methionine and valproic acid (M+V) significantly reduced the increase in the ABR threshold at 32 kHz. Treatment with any of these reagents individually produced no such effect. Microarray analyses detected 299 gene probes that were significantly up- or down-regulated in the cochleae of mice treated with M+V compared with the control vehicle-treated mice. Quantitative RT-PCR confirmed significant up-regulation of a zinc importer gene, Zip4, in the cochleae of mice treated with M+V. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated an intense Zip4 signal in cochlear tissues such as the lateral wall, organ of Corti, and spiral ganglion. Finally, mice treated with the Zip4 inducer (–)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate showed a significant reduction in the increase of the ABR threshold at 32 kHz and up-regulation of Zip4 expression in the cochlea. This study suggests that epigenetic regulatory pathways can modify auditory function and that zinc intake in the cochlea via Zip4 mediates maintenance of mammalian hearing. PMID:25875282

  13. Resetting the epigenetic histone code in the MRL-lpr/lpr mouse model of lupus by histone deacetylase inhibition.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Benjamin A; Busby, Scott A; Shabanowitz, Jeffrey; Hunt, Donald F; Mishra, Nilamadhab

    2005-01-01

    The baseline level of gene expression varies between healthy controls and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, and among SLE patients themselves. These variations may explain the different clinical manifestations and severity of disease observed in SLE. Epigenetic mechanisms, which involve DNA and histone modifications, are predictably associated with distinct transcriptional states. To understand the interplay between various histone modifications, including acetylation and methylation, and lupus disease, we performed differential expression histone modification analysis in splenocytes from the MRL-lpr/lpr mouse model of lupus. Using stable isotope labeling in combination with mass spectrometry, we found global site-specific hypermethylation (except H3 K4 methylation) and hypoacetylation in histone H3 and H4 MRL-lpr/lpr mice compared to control MRL/MPJ mice. Moreover, we have identified novel histone modifications such as H3 K18 methylation, H4 K31 methylation, and H4 K31 acetylation that are differentially expressed in MRL-lpr/lpr mice compared to controls. Finally, in vivo administration of the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) corrected the site-specific hypoacetylation states on H3 and H4 in MRL-lpr/lpr mice with improvement of disease phenotype. Thus, this study is the first to establish the association between aberrant histone codes and pathogenesis of autoimmune disease SLE. These aberrant post-translational histone modifications can therefore be reset with histone deacetylase inhibition in vivo. PMID:16335948

  14. Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling by modified reduced representation bisulfite sequencing in Brassica rapa suggests that epigenetic modifications play a key role in polyploid genome evolution.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xun; Ge, Xianhong; Wang, Jing; Tan, Chen; King, Graham J; Liu, Kede

    2015-01-01

    Brassica rapa includes some of the most important vegetables worldwide as well as oilseed crops. The complete annotated genome sequence confirmed its paleohexaploid origins and provides opportunities for exploring the detailed process of polyploid genome evolution. We generated a genome-wide DNA methylation profile for B. rapa using a modified reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) method. This sampling represented 2.24% of all CG loci (2.5 × 10(5)), 2.16% CHG (2.7 × 10(5)), and 1.68% CHH loci (1.05 × 10(5)) (where H = A, T, or C). Our sampling of DNA methylation in B. rapa indicated that 52.4% of CG sites were present as (5m)CG, with 31.8% of CHG and 8.3% of CHH. It was found that genic regions of single copy genes had significantly higher methylation compared to those of two or three copy genes. Differences in degree of genic DNA methylation were observed in a hierarchical relationship corresponding to the relative age of the three ancestral subgenomes, primarily accounted by single-copy genes. RNA-seq analysis revealed that overall the level of transcription was negatively correlated with mean gene methylation content and depended on copy number or was associated with the different subgenomes. These results provide new insights into the role epigenetic variation plays in polyploid genome evolution, and suggest an alternative mechanism for duplicate gene loss. PMID:26500672

  15. Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling by modified reduced representation bisulfite sequencing in Brassica rapa suggests that epigenetic modifications play a key role in polyploid genome evolution

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xun; Ge, Xianhong; Wang, Jing; Tan, Chen; King, Graham J.; Liu, Kede

    2015-01-01

    Brassica rapa includes some of the most important vegetables worldwide as well as oilseed crops. The complete annotated genome sequence confirmed its paleohexaploid origins and provides opportunities for exploring the detailed process of polyploid genome evolution. We generated a genome-wide DNA methylation profile for B. rapa using a modified reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) method. This sampling represented 2.24% of all CG loci (2.5 × 105), 2.16% CHG (2.7 × 105), and 1.68% CHH loci (1.05 × 105) (where H = A, T, or C). Our sampling of DNA methylation in B. rapa indicated that 52.4% of CG sites were present as 5mCG, with 31.8% of CHG and 8.3% of CHH. It was found that genic regions of single copy genes had significantly higher methylation compared to those of two or three copy genes. Differences in degree of genic DNA methylation were observed in a hierarchical relationship corresponding to the relative age of the three ancestral subgenomes, primarily accounted by single-copy genes. RNA-seq analysis revealed that overall the level of transcription was negatively correlated with mean gene methylation content and depended on copy number or was associated with the different subgenomes. These results provide new insights into the role epigenetic variation plays in polyploid genome evolution, and suggest an alternative mechanism for duplicate gene loss. PMID:26500672

  16. Epigenetic reprogramming in plant sexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Berger, Frédéric

    2014-09-01

    Epigenetic reprogramming consists of global changes in DNA methylation and histone modifications. In mammals, epigenetic reprogramming is primarily associated with sexual reproduction and occurs during both gametogenesis and early embryonic development. Such reprogramming is crucial not only to maintain genomic integrity through silencing transposable elements but also to reset the silenced status of imprinted genes. In plants, observations of stable transgenerational inheritance of epialleles have argued against reprogramming. However, emerging evidence supports that epigenetic reprogramming indeed occurs during sexual reproduction in plants and that it has a major role in maintaining genome integrity and a potential contribution to epiallelic variation. PMID:25048170

  17. 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. PMID:25687469

  18. The Epigenetic Regulation of Wound Healing.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Christopher J; Mardaryev, Andrei N; Sharov, Andrey A; Fessing, Michael Y; Botchkarev, Vladimir A

    2014-07-01

    Significance: Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms are essential for epidermal homeostasis and contribute to the pathogenesis of many skin diseases, including skin cancer and psoriasis. However, while the epigenetic regulation of epidermal homeostasis is now becoming active area of research, the epigenetic mechanisms controlling the wound healing response remain relatively untouched. Recent Advances: Substantial progress achieved within the last two decades in understanding epigenetic mechanisms controlling gene expression allowed defining several levels, including covalent DNA and histone modifications, ATP-dependent and higher-order chromatin chromatin remodeling, as well as noncoding RNA- and microRNA-dependent regulation. Research pertained over the last few years suggests that epigenetic regulatory mechanisms play a pivotal role in the regulation of skin regeneration and control an execution of reparative gene expression programs in both skin epithelium and mesenchyme. Critical Issues: Epigenetic regulators appear to be inherently involved in the processes of skin repair, and are able to dynamically regulate keratinocyte proliferation, differentiation, and migration, together with influencing dermal regeneration and neoangiogenesis. This is achieved through a series of complex regulatory mechanisms that are able to both stimulate and repress gene activation to transiently alter cellular phenotype and behavior, and interact with growth factor activity. Future Directions: Understanding the molecular basis of epigenetic regulation is a priority as it represents potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of both acute and chronic skin conditions. Future research is, therefore, imperative to help distinguish epigenetic modulating drugs that can be used to improve wound healing. PMID:25032066

  19. Adaption by Rewiring Epigenetic Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yifei; Xiao, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) generally rely on repressive histone modifications to silence retrotransposons, rather than DNA methylation as in differentiated cells. In this issue of Cell Stem Cell, He et al. (2015) show that Daxx/Atrx repress transposons in ESCs devoid of 5mC, demonstrating dynamic reorganization of epigenetic networks and crosstalk between distinct repressive mechanisms to maintain transposon silencing. PMID:26340521

  20. Enhanced MAPK signaling drives ETS1-mediated induction of miR-29b leading to downregulation of TET1 and changes in epigenetic modifications in a subset of lung SCC

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, M A; Wappett, M; Delpuech, O; Brown, H; Chresta, C M

    2016-01-01

    Non-small-cell lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide and is comprised of several histological subtypes, the two most common being adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Targeted therapies have successfully improved response rates in patients with AC tumors. However, the majority of SCC tumors lack specific targetable mutations, making development of new treatment paradigms for this disease challenging. In the present study, we used iterative non-negative matrix factorization, an unbiased clustering method, on mRNA expression data from the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) and a panel of 24 SCC cell lines to classify three disease segments within SCC. Analysis of gene set enrichment and drug sensitivity identified an immune-evasion subtype that showed increased sensitivity to nuclear factor-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibition, a replication-stress associated subtype that showed increased sensitivity to ataxia telangiectasia inhibition, and a neuroendocrine-associated subtype that showed increased sensitivity to phosphoinositide 3-kinase and fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibition. Additionally, each of these subtypes exhibited a unique microRNA expression profile. Focusing on the immune-evasion subtype, bioinformatic analysis of microRNA promoters revealed enrichment for binding sites for the MAPK-driven ETS1 transcription factor. Indeed, we found that knockdown of ETS1 led to upregulation of eight microRNAs and downregulation of miR-29b in the immune-evasion subtype. Mechanistically, we found that miR-29b targets the DNA-demethylating enzyme, TET1, for downregulation resulting in decreased 5-hmC epigenetic modifications. Moreover, inhibition of MAPK signaling by gefitinib led to decreased ETS1 and miR-29b expression with a corresponding increase in TET1 expression and increase in 5-hmC. Collectively, our work identifies three subtypes of lung SCC that differ in drug sensitivity and shows a novel mechanism of

  1. Enhanced MAPK signaling drives ETS1-mediated induction of miR-29b leading to downregulation of TET1 and changes in epigenetic modifications in a subset of lung SCC.

    PubMed

    Taylor, M A; Wappett, M; Delpuech, O; Brown, H; Chresta, C M

    2016-08-18

    Non-small-cell lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide and is comprised of several histological subtypes, the two most common being adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Targeted therapies have successfully improved response rates in patients with AC tumors. However, the majority of SCC tumors lack specific targetable mutations, making development of new treatment paradigms for this disease challenging. In the present study, we used iterative non-negative matrix factorization, an unbiased clustering method, on mRNA expression data from the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) and a panel of 24 SCC cell lines to classify three disease segments within SCC. Analysis of gene set enrichment and drug sensitivity identified an immune-evasion subtype that showed increased sensitivity to nuclear factor-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibition, a replication-stress associated subtype that showed increased sensitivity to ataxia telangiectasia inhibition, and a neuroendocrine-associated subtype that showed increased sensitivity to phosphoinositide 3-kinase and fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibition. Additionally, each of these subtypes exhibited a unique microRNA expression profile. Focusing on the immune-evasion subtype, bioinformatic analysis of microRNA promoters revealed enrichment for binding sites for the MAPK-driven ETS1 transcription factor. Indeed, we found that knockdown of ETS1 led to upregulation of eight microRNAs and downregulation of miR-29b in the immune-evasion subtype. Mechanistically, we found that miR-29b targets the DNA-demethylating enzyme, TET1, for downregulation resulting in decreased 5-hmC epigenetic modifications. Moreover, inhibition of MAPK signaling by gefitinib led to decreased ETS1 and miR-29b expression with a corresponding increase in TET1 expression and increase in 5-hmC. Collectively, our work identifies three subtypes of lung SCC that differ in drug sensitivity and shows a novel mechanism of

  2. The tomato UV-damaged DNA binding protein 1 (DDB1) plays a role in organ size control via an epigenetic manner

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Epigenetic regulation, including various covalent modifications of histone proteins and methylation of cytosine bases in DNA, participates broadly in many fundamentally physiological and developmental processes. The repressed or active states of transcription resulted from epigenetic modifications a...

  3. A Study of Alterations in DNA Epigenetic Modifications (5mC and 5hmC) and Gene Expression Influenced by Simulated Microgravity in Human Lymphoblastoid Cells.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Basudev; Seetharam, Arun; Wang, Zhiping; Liu, Yunlong; Lossie, Amy C; Thimmapuram, Jyothi; Irudayaraj, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Cells alter their gene expression in response to exposure to various environmental changes. Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation are believed to regulate the alterations in gene expression patterns. In vitro and in vivo studies have documented changes in cellular proliferation, cytoskeletal remodeling, signal transduction, bone mineralization and immune deficiency under the influence of microgravity conditions experienced in space. However microgravity induced changes in the epigenome have not been well characterized. In this study we have used Next-generation Sequencing (NGS) to profile ground-based "simulated" microgravity induced changes on DNA methylation (5-methylcytosine or 5mC), hydroxymethylation (5-hydroxymethylcytosine or 5hmC), and simultaneous gene expression in cultured human lymphoblastoid cells. Our results indicate that simulated microgravity induced alterations in the methylome (~60% of the differentially methylated regions or DMRs are hypomethylated and ~92% of the differentially hydroxymethylated regions or DHMRs are hyperhydroxymethylated). Simulated microgravity also induced differential expression in 370 transcripts that were associated with crucial biological processes such as oxidative stress response, carbohydrate metabolism and regulation of transcription. While we were not able to obtain any global trend correlating the changes of methylation/ hydroxylation with gene expression, we have been able to profile the simulated microgravity induced changes of 5mC over some of the differentially expressed genes that includes five genes undergoing differential methylation over their promoters and twenty five genes undergoing differential methylation over their gene-bodies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first NGS-based study to profile epigenomic patterns induced by short time exposure of simulated microgravity and we believe that our findings can be a valuable resource for future explorations. PMID:26820575

  4. Derivation of new human embryonic stem cell lines reveals rapid epigenetic progression in vitro that can be prevented by chemical modification of chromatin

    PubMed Central

    Diaz Perez, Silvia V.; Kim, Rachel; Li, Ziwei; Marquez, Victor E.; Patel, Sanjeet; Plath, Kathrin; Clark, Amander T.

    2012-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are pluripotent cell types derived from the inner cell mass of human blastocysts. Recent data indicate that the majority of established female XX hESC lines have undergone X chromosome inactivation (XCI) prior to differentiation, and XCI of hESCs can be either XIST-dependent (class II) or XIST-independent (class III). XCI of female hESCs precludes the use of XX hESCs as a cell-based model for examining mechanisms of XCI, and will be a challenge for studying X-linked diseases unless strategies are developed to reactivate the inactive X. In order to recover nuclei with two active X chromosomes (class I), we developed a reprogramming strategy by supplementing hESC media with the small molecules sodium butyrate and 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep). Our data demonstrate that successful reprogramming can occur from the XIST-dependent class II nuclear state but not class III nuclear state. To determine whether these small molecules prevent XCI, we derived six new hESC lines under normoxic conditions (UCLA1–UCLA6). We show that class I nuclei are present within the first 20 passages of hESC derivation prior to cryopreservation, and that supplementation with either sodium butyrate or DZNep preserve class I nuclei in the self-renewing state. Together, our data demonstrate that self-renewal and survival of class I nuclei are compatible with normoxic hESC derivation, and that chemical supplementation after derivation provides a strategy to prevent epigenetic progression and retain nuclei with two active X chromosomes in the self-renewing state. PMID:22058289

  5. A Study of Alterations in DNA Epigenetic Modifications (5mC and 5hmC) and Gene Expression Influenced by Simulated Microgravity in Human Lymphoblastoid Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhiping; Liu, Yunlong; Lossie, Amy C.; Thimmapuram, Jyothi; Irudayaraj, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Cells alter their gene expression in response to exposure to various environmental changes. Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation are believed to regulate the alterations in gene expression patterns. In vitro and in vivo studies have documented changes in cellular proliferation, cytoskeletal remodeling, signal transduction, bone mineralization and immune deficiency under the influence of microgravity conditions experienced in space. However microgravity induced changes in the epigenome have not been well characterized. In this study we have used Next-generation Sequencing (NGS) to profile ground-based “simulated” microgravity induced changes on DNA methylation (5-methylcytosine or 5mC), hydroxymethylation (5-hydroxymethylcytosine or 5hmC), and simultaneous gene expression in cultured human lymphoblastoid cells. Our results indicate that simulated microgravity induced alterations in the methylome (~60% of the differentially methylated regions or DMRs are hypomethylated and ~92% of the differentially hydroxymethylated regions or DHMRs are hyperhydroxymethylated). Simulated microgravity also induced differential expression in 370 transcripts that were associated with crucial biological processes such as oxidative stress response, carbohydrate metabolism and regulation of transcription. While we were not able to obtain any global trend correlating the changes of methylation/ hydroxylation with gene expression, we have been able to profile the simulated microgravity induced changes of 5mC over some of the differentially expressed genes that includes five genes undergoing differential methylation over their promoters and twenty five genes undergoing differential methylation over their gene-bodies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first NGS-based study to profile epigenomic patterns induced by short time exposure of simulated microgravity and we believe that our findings can be a valuable resource for future explorations. PMID:26820575

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Altered patterns of DNA methylation are key features of cancer. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) has the highest incidence in Southern China. Aberrant methylation at the promoter region of tumor suppressors is frequently reported in NPC; however, genome-wide methylation changes have not been comprehensively investigated. Therefore, we systematically analyzed methylome data in 25 primary NPC tumors and nontumor counterparts using a high-throughput approach with the Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. Comparatively, we examined the methylome data of 11 types of solid tumors collected by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). In NPC, the hypermethylation pattern was more dominant than hypomethylation and the majority of de novo methylated loci were within or close to CpG islands in tumors. The comparative methylome analysis reveals hypermethylation at chromosome 6p21.3 frequently occurred in NPC (false discovery rate; FDR=1.33 × 10−9), but was less obvious in other types of solid tumors except for prostate and Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-positive gastric cancer (FDR<10−3). Bisulfite pyrosequencing results further confirmed the aberrant methylation at 6p in an additional patient cohort. Evident enrichment of the repressive mark H3K27me3 and active mark H3K4me3 derived from human embryonic stem cells were found at these regions, indicating both DNA methylation and histone modification function together, leading to epigenetic deregulation in NPC. Our study highlights the importance of epigenetic deregulation in NPC. Polycomb Complex 2 (PRC2), responsible for H3K27 trimethylation, is a promising therapeutic target. A key genomic region on 6p with aberrant methylation was identified. This region contains several important genes having potential use as biomarkers for NPC detection. PMID:25924914

  7. Effects of Sodium Butyrate Treatment on Histone Modifications and the Expression of Genes Related to Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms and Immune Response in European Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus Labrax) Fed a Plant-Based Diet

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Noelia; Rimoldi, Simona; Ceccotti, Chiara; Gliozheni, Emi; Piferrer, Francesc

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria that inhabit the epithelium of the animals’ digestive tract provide the essential biochemical pathways for fermenting otherwise indigestible dietary fibers, leading to the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Of the major SCFAs, butyrate has received particular attention due to its numerous positive effects on the health of the intestinal tract and peripheral tissues. The mechanisms of action of this four-carbon chain organic acid are different; many of these are related to its potent regulatory effect on gene expression since butyrate is a histone deacetylase inhibitor that play a predominant role in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression and cell function. In the present work, we investigated in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) the effects of butyrate used as a feed additive on fish epigenetics as well as its regulatory role in mucosal protection and immune homeostasis through impact on gene expression. Seven target genes related to inflammatory response and reinforcement of the epithelial defense barrier [tnfα (tumor necrosis factor alpha) il1β, (interleukin 1beta), il-6, il-8, il-10, and muc2 (mucin 2)] and five target genes related to epigenetic modifications [dicer1(double-stranded RNA-specific endoribonuclease), ehmt2 (euchromatic histone-lysine-N-methyltransferase 2), pcgf2 (polycomb group ring finger 2), hdac11 (histone deacetylase-11), and jarid2a (jumonji)] were analyzed in fish intestine and liver. We also investigated the effect of dietary butyrate supplementation on histone acetylation, by performing an immunoblotting analysis on liver core histone extracts. Results of the eight-week-long feeding trial showed no significant differences in weight gain or SGR (specific growth rate) of sea bass that received 0.2% sodium butyrate supplementation in the diet in comparison to control fish that received a diet without Na-butyrate. Dietary butyrate led to a twofold increase in the acetylation level of histone H4 at

  8. Effects of Sodium Butyrate Treatment on Histone Modifications and the Expression of Genes Related to Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms and Immune Response in European Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus Labrax) Fed a Plant-Based Diet.

    PubMed

    Terova, Genciana; Díaz, Noelia; Rimoldi, Simona; Ceccotti, Chiara; Gliozheni, Emi; Piferrer, Francesc

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria that inhabit the epithelium of the animals' digestive tract provide the essential biochemical pathways for fermenting otherwise indigestible dietary fibers, leading to the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Of the major SCFAs, butyrate has received particular attention due to its numerous positive effects on the health of the intestinal tract and peripheral tissues. The mechanisms of action of this four-carbon chain organic acid are different; many of these are related to its potent regulatory effect on gene expression since butyrate is a histone deacetylase inhibitor that play a predominant role in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression and cell function. In the present work, we investigated in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) the effects of butyrate used as a feed additive on fish epigenetics as well as its regulatory role in mucosal protection and immune homeostasis through impact on gene expression. Seven target genes related to inflammatory response and reinforcement of the epithelial defense barrier [tnfα (tumor necrosis factor alpha) il1β, (interleukin 1beta), il-6, il-8, il-10, and muc2 (mucin 2)] and five target genes related to epigenetic modifications [dicer1(double-stranded RNA-specific endoribonuclease), ehmt2 (euchromatic histone-lysine-N-methyltransferase 2), pcgf2 (polycomb group ring finger 2), hdac11 (histone deacetylase-11), and jarid2a (jumonji)] were analyzed in fish intestine and liver. We also investigated the effect of dietary butyrate supplementation on histone acetylation, by performing an immunoblotting analysis on liver core histone extracts. Results of the eight-week-long feeding trial showed no significant differences in weight gain or SGR (specific growth rate) of sea bass that received 0.2% sodium butyrate supplementation in the diet in comparison to control fish that received a diet without Na-butyrate. Dietary butyrate led to a twofold increase in the acetylation level of histone H4 at

  9. 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

  10. Environment-Sensitive Epigenetics and the Heritability of Complex Diseases

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies have thus far failed to explain the observed heritability of complex human diseases. This is referred to as the “missing heritability” problem. However, these analyses have usually neglected to consider a role for epigenetic variation, which has been associated with many human diseases. We extend models of epigenetic inheritance to investigate whether environment-sensitive epigenetic modifications of DNA might explain observed patterns of familial aggregation. We find that variation in epigenetic state and environmental state can result in highly heritable phenotypes through a combination of epigenetic and environmental inheritance. These two inheritance processes together can produce familial covariances significantly higher than those predicted by models of purely epigenetic inheritance and similar to those expected from genetic effects. The results suggest that epigenetic variation, inherited both directly and through shared environmental effects, may make a key contribution to the missing heritability. PMID:21968193

  11. Epigenetics: general characteristics and implications for oral health

    PubMed Central

    Seo, Ji-Yun; Park, Yoon-Jung; Yi, Young-Ah; Hwang, Ji-Yun; Lee, In-Bog; Son, Ho-Hyun

    2015-01-01

    Genetic information such as DNA sequences has been limited to fully explain mechanisms of gene regulation and disease process. Epigenetic mechanisms, which include DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs, can regulate gene expression and affect progression of disease. Although studies focused on epigenetics are being actively investigated in the field of medicine and biology, epigenetics in dental research is at the early stages. However, studies on epigenetics in dentistry deserve attention because epigenetic mechanisms play important roles in gene expression during tooth development and may affect oral diseases. In addition, understanding of epigenetic alteration is important for developing new therapeutic methods. This review article aims to outline the general features of epigenetic mechanisms and describe its future implications in the field of dentistry. PMID:25671208

  12. Epigenetic modification of the FMR1 gene in fragile X syndrome is associated with differential response to the mGluR5 antagonist AFQ056.

    PubMed

    Jacquemont, Sébastien; Curie, Aurore; des Portes, Vincent; Torrioli, Maria Giulia; Berry-Kravis, Elizabeth; Hagerman, Randi J; Ramos, Feliciano J; Cornish, Kim; He, Yunsheng; Paulding, Charles; Neri, Giovanni; Chen, Fei; Hadjikhani, Nouchine; Martinet, Danielle; Meyer, Joanne; Beckmann, Jacques S; Delange, Karine; Brun, Amandine; Bussy, Gerald; Gasparini, Fabrizio; Hilse, Talita; Floesser, Annette; Branson, Janice; Bilbe, Graeme; Johns, Donald; Gomez-Mancilla, Baltazar

    2011-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is an X-linked condition associated with intellectual disability and behavioral problems. It is caused by expansion of a CGG repeat in the 5' untranslated region of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. This mutation is associated with hypermethylation at the FMR1 promoter and resultant transcriptional silencing. FMR1 silencing has many consequences, including up-regulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5)-mediated signaling. mGluR5 receptor antagonists have shown promise in preclinical FXS models and in one small open-label study of FXS. We examined whether a receptor subtype-selective inhibitor of mGluR5, AFQ056, improves the behavioral symptoms of FXS in a randomized, double-blind, two-treatment, two-period, crossover study of 30 male FXS patients aged 18 to 35 years. We detected no significant effects of treatment on the primary outcome measure, the Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Community Edition (ABC-C) score, at day 19 or 20 of treatment. In an exploratory analysis, however, seven patients with full FMR1 promoter methylation and no detectable FMR1 messenger RNA improved, as measured with the ABC-C, significantly more after AFQ056 treatment than with placebo (P < 0.001). We detected no response in 18 patients with partial promoter methylation. Twenty-four patients experienced an adverse event, which was mostly mild to moderately severe fatigue or headache. If confirmed in larger and longer-term studies, these results suggest that blockade of the mGluR5 receptor in patients with full methylation at the FMR1 promoter may show improvement in the behavioral attributes of FXS. PMID:21209411

  13. Fatty acid binding protein 3 (fabp3) is associated with insulin, lipids and cardiovascular phenotypes of the metabolic syndrome through epigenetic modifications in a northern european family population

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) play regulatory roles at the nexus of lipid metabolism and signaling. Dyslipidemia in clinical manifestation frequently co-occurs with obesity, insulin resistance and hypertension in the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS). Animal studies have suggested FABPs play regulatory roles in expressing MetS phenotypes. In our family cohort of Northern European descent, transcript levels in peripheral white blood cells (PWBCs) of a key FABPs, FABP3, is correlated with the MetS leading components. However, evidence supporting the functions of FABPs in humans using genetic approaches has been scarce, suggesting FABPs may be under epigenetic regulation. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that CpG methylation status of a key regulator of lipid homeostasis, FABP3, is a quantitative trait associated with status of MetS phenotypes in humans. Methods We used a mass-spec based quantitative method, EpiTYPER®, to profile a CpG island that extends from the promoter to the first exon of the FABP3 gene in our family-based cohort of Northern European descent (n=517). We then conducted statistical analysis of the quantitative relationship of CpG methylation and MetS measures following the variance-component association model. Heritability of each methylation and the effect of age and sex on CpG methylation were also assessed in our families. Results We find that methylation levels of individual CpG units and the regional average are heritable and significantly influenced by age and sex. Regional methylation was strongly associated with plasma total cholesterol (p=0.00028) and suggestively associated with LDL-cholesterol (p=0.00495). Methylation at individual units was significantly associated with insulin sensitivity, lipid particle sizing and diastolic blood pressure (p<0.0028, corrected for multiple testing for each trait). Peripheral white blood cell (PWBC) expression of FABP3 in a separate group of subjects (n=128) negatively

  14. Epigenetic-related therapeutic challenges in cardiovascular disease.

    PubMed

    Schiano, Concetta; Vietri, Maria Teresa; Grimaldi, Vincenzo; Picascia, Antonietta; Pascale, Maria Rosaria De; Napoli, Claudio

    2015-04-01

    Progress in human genetic and genomic research has led to the identification of genetic variants associated with specific cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), but the pathogenic mechanisms remain unclear. Recent studies have analyzed the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modifications in the development and progression of CVD. Preliminary work has investigated the correlations between DNA methylation, histone modifications, and RNA-based mechanisms with CVDs including atherosclerosis, heart failure (HF), myocardial infarction (MI), and cardiac hypertrophy. Remarkably, both in utero programming and postnatal hypercholesterolemia may affect the epigenetic signature in the human cardiovascular system, thereby providing novel early epigenetic-related pharmacological insights. Interestingly, some dietary compounds, including polyphenols, cocoa, and folic acid, can modulate DNA methylation status, whereas statins may promote epigenetic-based control in CVD prevention through histone modifications. We review recent findings on the epigenetic control of cardiovascular system and new challenges for therapeutic strategies in CVDs. PMID:25758254

  15. Epigenetic therapies - a new direction in clinical medicine.

    PubMed

    Stein, R A

    2014-07-01

    A major biomedical advance from recent years was the finding that gene expression and phenotypic traits may be shaped by potentially reversible and heritable modifications that occur without altering the sequence of the nucleotides, and became known as epigenetic changes. The term 'epigenetics' dates back to the 1940s, when it was first used in context of cellular differentiation decisions that are made during development. Since then, our understanding of epigenetic modifications that govern development and disease expanded considerably. The contribution of epigenetic changes to shaping phenotypes brings at least two major clinically relevant benefits. One of these, stemming from the reversibility of epigenetic changes, involves the possibility to therapeutically revert epigenetic marks to re-establish prior gene expression patterns. The strength and the potential of this strategy are illustrated by the first four epigenetic drugs that were approved in recent years and by the additional candidates that are at various stages in preclinical studies and clinical trials. The second particularity is the finding that epigenetic changes precede the appearance of histopathological modifications. This has the potential to facilitate the emergence of epigenetic biomarkers, some of which already entered the clinical arena, catalysing a major shift in prophylactic and therapeutic strategies, and promising to fill a decades-old gap in preventive medicine. PMID:24845064

  16. Recent advances in mass spectrometry analysis of histone post-translational modifications: potential clinical impact of the PAT-H-MS approach.

    PubMed

    Bonaldi, Tiziana; Noberini, Roberta

    2016-03-01

    Histone post-translational modifications (hPTMs) contribute to the regulation of gene expression and increasing evidence links them to the development of various pathologies, highlighting their potential as biomarkers for prognostic, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Mass spectrometry (MS) has emerged as a powerful analytical tool for hPTM analysis, which has also been applied to the analysis of epigenetic aberrations in diseases. However, the potential offered by the MS-based hPTM analysis of clinical samples for epigenetic biomarker discovery has been left largely unexploited. This article summarizes the contribution of MS-based approaches to clinical epigenetics, with a special focus on the PAThology tissue analysis of Histones by Mass Spectrometry (PAT-H-MS) approach - which represents the first application of MS-based hPTM analysis to formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded clinical samples - discussing its strengths and limitations, as well as possible implementations. PMID:26822344

  17. Twin methodology in epigenetic studies.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Since the final decades of the last century, twin studies have made a remarkable contribution to the genetics of human complex traits and diseases. With the recent rapid development in modern biotechnology of high-throughput genetic and genomic analyses, twin modelling is expanding from analysis of diseases to molecular phenotypes in functional genomics especially in epigenetics, a thriving field of research that concerns the environmental regulation of gene expression through DNA methylation, histone modification, microRNA and long non-coding RNA expression, etc. The application of the twin method to molecular phenotypes offers new opportunities to study the genetic (nature) and environmental (nurture) contributions to epigenetic regulation of gene activity during developmental, ageing and disease processes. Besides the classical twin model, the case co-twin design using identical twins discordant for a trait or disease is becoming a popular and powerful design for epigenome-wide association study in linking environmental exposure to differential epigenetic regulation and to disease status while controlling for individual genetic make-up. It can be expected that novel uses of twin methods in epigenetic studies are going to help with efficiently unravelling the genetic and environmental basis of epigenomics in human complex diseases. PMID:25568460

  18. Mitochondrial Epigenetics and Environmental Exposure.

    PubMed

    Lambertini, Luca; Byun, Hyang-Min

    2016-09-01

    The rising toll of chronic and debilitating diseases brought about by the exposure to an ever expanding number of environmental pollutants and socio-economic factors is calling for action. The understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind the effects of environmental exposures can lead to the development of biomarkers that can support the public health fields of both early diagnosis and intervention to limit the burden of environmental diseases. The study of mitochondrial epigenetics carries high hopes to provide important biomarkers of exposure and disease. Mitochondria are in fact on the frontline of the cellular response to the environment. Modifications of the epigenetic factors regulating the mitochondrial activity are emerging as informative tools that can effectively report on the effects of the environment on the phenotype. Here, we will discuss the emerging field of mitochondrial epigenetics. This review describes the main epigenetic phenomena that modify the activity of the mitochondrial DNA including DNA methylation, long and short non-coding RNAs. We will discuss the unique pattern of mitochondrial DNA methylation, describe the challenges of correctly measuring it, and report on the existing studies that have analysed the correlation between environmental exposures and mitochondrial DNA methylation. Finally, we provide a brief account of the therapeutic approaches targeting mitochondria currently under consideration. PMID:27344144

  19. Epigenetic silencing in transgenic plants

    PubMed Central

    Rajeevkumar, Sarma; Anunanthini, Pushpanathan; Sathishkumar, Ramalingam

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Epigenetic Contributions to Cognitive Aging: Disentangling Mindspan and Lifespan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spiegel, Amy M.; Sewal, Angila S.; Rapp, Peter R.

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications of chromatin structure provide a mechanistic interface for gene-environment interactions that impact the individualization of health trajectories across the lifespan. A growing body of research indicates that dysfunctional epigenetic regulation contributes to poor cognitive outcomes among aged populations. Here we review…

  1. Nutritional influences on epigenetics and age-related disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. Natural epigenetic variation in bats and its role in evolution.

    PubMed

    Liu, Sen; Sun, Keping; Jiang, Tinglei; Feng, Jiang

    2015-01-01

    When facing the challenges of environmental change, such as habitat fragmentation, organisms have to adjust their phenotype to adapt to various environmental stresses. Recent studies show that epigenetic modifications could mediate environmentally induced phenotypic variation, and this epigenetic variance could be inherited by future generations, indicating that epigenetic processes have potential evolutionary effects. Bats living in diverse environments show geographic variations in phenotype, and the females usually have natal philopatry, presenting an opportunity to explore how environments shape epigenetic marks on the genome and the evolutionary potential of epigenetic variance in bat populations for adaptation. We have explored the natural epigenetic diversity and structure of female populations of the great roundleaf bat (Hipposideros armiger), the least horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus pusillus) and the eastern bent-winged bat (Miniopterus fuliginosus) using a methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism technique. We have also estimated the effects of genetic variance and ecological variables on epigenetic diversification. All three bat species have a low level of genomic DNA methylation and extensive epigenetic diversity that exceeds the corresponding genetic variance. DNA sequence divergence, epigenetic drift and environmental variables contribute to the epigenetic diversities of each species. Environment-induced epigenetic variation may be inherited as a result of both mitosis and meiosis, and their potential roles in evolution for bat populations are also discussed in this review. PMID:25568456

  3. A repetitive elements perspective in Polycomb epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Casa, Valentina; Gabellini, Davide

    2012-01-01

    Repetitive elements comprise over two-thirds of the human genome. For a long time, these elements have received little attention since they were considered non-functional. On the contrary, recent evidence indicates that they play central roles in genome integrity, gene expression, and disease. Indeed, repeats display meiotic instability associated with disease and are located within common fragile sites, which are hotspots of chromosome re-arrangements in tumors. Moreover, a variety of diseases have been associated with aberrant transcription of repetitive elements. Overall this indicates that appropriate regulation of repetitive elements’ activity is fundamental. Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are epigenetic regulators that are essential for the normal development of multicellular organisms. Mammalian PcG proteins are involved in fundamental processes, such as cellular memory, cell proliferation, genomic imprinting, X-inactivation, and cancer development. PcG proteins can convey their activity through long-distance interactions also on different chromosomes. This indicates that the 3D organization of PcG proteins contributes significantly to their function. However, it is still unclear how these complex mechanisms are orchestrated and which role PcG proteins play in the multi-level organization of gene regulation. Intriguingly, the greatest proportion of Polycomb-mediated chromatin modifications is located in genomic repeats and it has been suggested that they could provide a binding platform for Polycomb proteins. Here, these lines of evidence are woven together to discuss how repetitive elements could contribute to chromatin organization in the 3D nuclear space. PMID:23060903

  4. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 controls IL-10 expression in CD4+ effector T-cell subsets through epigenetic modification of the IL-10 promoter

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Elaine V; Ng, T H Sky; Burton, Bronwen R; Oakley, Charly M; Malik, Karim; Wraith, David C

    2015-01-01

    The serine/threonine kinase glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) plays an important role in balancing pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. We have examined the role of GSK3 in production of IL-10 by subsets of CD4+ T helper cells. Treatment of naive murine CD4+ T cells with GSK3 inhibitors did not affect their production of IL-10. However, treatment of Th1 and Th2 cells with GSK3 inhibitors dramatically increased production of IL-10. GSK3 inhibition also led to upregulation of IL-10 among Th1, Th2, and Th17 subsets isolated from human blood. The encephalitogenic potential of GSK3 inhibitor treated murine Th1 cells was significantly reduced in adoptive transfer experiments by an IL-10-dependent mechanism. Analysis of the murine IL-10 promoter in response to inhibition of GSK3 in Th1 cells showed modification to a transcriptionally active state indicated by changes in histone H3 acetylation and methylation. Additionally, GSK3 inhibition increased expression of the transcription factors c-Maf, Nfil3, and GATA3, correlating with the increase in IL-10. These findings are important in the context of autoimmune disease since they show that it is possible to reprogram disease-causing cells through GSK3 inhibition. PMID:25627813

  5. DNA modifications: Another stable base in DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazauskas, Pijus; Kriaucionis, Skirmantas

    2014-12-01

    Oxidation of 5-methylcytosine has been proposed to mediate active and passive DNA demethylation. Tracking the history of DNA modifications has now provided the first solid evidence that 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is a stable epigenetic modification.

  6. Epigenetic mechanisms in systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hedrich, Christian M.; Tsokos, George C.

    2011-01-01

    The pathogenic origin of autoimmune diseases can be traced to both genetic susceptibility and epigenetic modifications arising from exposure to the environment. Epigenetic modifications influence gene-expression and alter cellular functions without modifying the genomic sequence. CpG-DNA methylation, histone-tail modifications, and micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are the main epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that are involved in the pathophysiology of autoimmune diseases is essential for the introduction of effective, target-directed, and tolerated therapies. In this review, we summarize recent findings that signify the importance of epigenetic modifications in autoimmune disorders while focusing on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We discuss future directions in basic research, autoimmune diagnostics, and applied therapy. PMID:21885342

  7. Epigenetics: a new bridge between nutrition and health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nutrients can reverse or change epigenetic phenomena such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, thereby modifying the expression of critical genes associated with physiologic and pathologic processes, including embryonic development, aging, and carcinogenesis. It appears that nutrients and b...

  8. Epigenetic Dynamics During Preimplantation Development

    PubMed Central

    Marcho, Chelsea; Cui, Wei; Mager, Jesse

    2015-01-01

    Successful mammalian development requires descendants of single-cell zygotes to differentiate into diverse cell types even though they contain the same genetic material. Preimplantation dynamics are first driven by the necessity of reprogramming haploid parental epigenomes to reach a totipotent state. This process requires extensive erasure of epigenetic marks shortly after fertilization. During the few short days after formation of the zygote, epigenetic programs are established and are essential for the first lineage decisions and differentiation. Here we review the current understanding of DNA methylation and histone modification dynamics responsible for these early changes during mammalian preimplantation development. In particular we highlight insights that have been gained through next generation sequencing technologies comparing human embryos to other models as well as the recent discoveries of active DNA demethylation mechanisms at play during preimplantation. PMID:26031750

  9. Environmental Epigenetics: Crossroad between Public Health, Lifestyle, and Cancer Prevention

    PubMed Central

    Romani, Massimo; Pistillo, Maria Pia; Banelli, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics provides the key to transform the genetic information into phenotype and because of its reversibility it is considered an ideal target for therapeutic interventions. This paper reviews the basic mechanisms of epigenetic control: DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin remodeling, and ncRNA expression and their role in disease development. We describe also the influence of the environment, lifestyle, nutritional habits, and the psychological influence on epigenetic marks and how these factors are related to cancer and other diseases development. Finally we discuss the potential use of natural epigenetic modifiers in the chemoprevention of cancer to link together public health, environment, and lifestyle. PMID:26339624

  10. A Concise Review on Epigenetic Regulation: Insight into Molecular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Golbabapour, Shahram; Abdulla, Mahmood Ameen; Hajrezaei, Maryam

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are responsible for the regulation of transcription of imprinted genes and those that induce a totipotent state. Starting just after fertilization, DNA methylation pattern undergoes establishment, reestablishment and maintenance. These modifications are important for normal embryo and placental developments. Throughout life and passing to the next generation, epigenetic events establish, maintain, erase and reestablish. In the context of differentiated cell reprogramming, demethylation and activation of genes whose expressions contribute to the pluripotent state is the crux of the matter. In this review, firstly, regulatory epigenetic mechanisms related to somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) reprogramming are discussed, followed by embryonic development, and placental epigenetic issues. PMID:22272098

  11. Genetic and epigenetic signatures in human hepatocellular carcinoma: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Naoshi; Goel, Ajay

    2011-04-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide, and the incidence of this fatal disease is still on rise. The majority of HCCs emerge in the background of a chronic liver disease, such as chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. The current understanding is that majority of HCCs evolve as a consequence of chronic inflammation and due to the presence of infection with hepatitis viruses. These underlying pathogenic stimuli subsequently induce a spectrum of genetic and epigenetic alterations in several cancer-related genes, which are involved in cell-cycle regulation, cell growth and adhesion. Such widespread genomic alterations cause disruption of normal cellular signaling and finally lead to the acquisition of a malignant phenotype in HCC. In general, the type of gene alterations, such as point mutations, deletion of chromosomal regions and abnormal methylation of gene promoters differ according to the individual targeted gene. In HCC, incidence of genetic alterations is relatively rare and is limited to a subset of few cancer-specific genes, such as the tumor suppressor p53, RB genes and oncogenes such as the CTNNB1. In contrast, epigenetic changes that involve aberrant methylation of genes and other post-transcriptional histone modifications occur far more frequently, and some of these epigenetic alterations are now being exploited for the development of molecular diagnostic signatures for HCC. In addition, recent findings of unique microRNA expression profiles also provide an evidence for the existence of novel mechanisms for gene expression regulation in HCC. In this review article, we will review the current state of knowledge on the activation of various oncogenic pathways and the inactivation of tumor suppressor pathways in HCC that result in the disruption of cancer-related gene function. In addition, we will specifically emphasize the clinical implication of some of these genetic and epigenetic alterations in the

  12. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Drug Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Nestler, Eric J.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23643695

  13. 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'. PMID:23643695

  14. Epigenetic regulation of early neural fate commitment.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Yunbo; Yang, Xianfa; Jing, Naihe

    2016-04-01

    Early neural fate commitment is a key process in neural development and establishment of the central nervous system, and this process is tightly controlled by extrinsic signals, intrinsic factors, and epigenetic regulation. Here, we summarize the main findings regarding the regulatory network of epigenetic mechanisms that play important roles during early neural fate determination and embryonic development, including histone modifications, chromatin remodeling, DNA modifications, and RNA-level regulation. These regulatory mechanisms coordinate to play essential roles in silencing of pluripotency genes and activating key neurodevelopmental genes during cell fate commitment at DNA, histone, chromatin, and RNA levels. Moreover, we discuss the relationship between epigenetic regulation, signaling pathways, and intrinsic factors during early neural fate specification. PMID:26801220

  15. Epigenetic Regulation of EBV and KSHV Latency

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Horng-Shen; Lu, Fang; Lieberman, Paul M.

    2013-01-01

    The gammaherpesviruses are unique for their capacity to establish a variety of gene expression programs during latent and lytic infection. This capacity enables the virus to control host-cell proliferation, prevent programmed cell death, elude immune cell detection, and ultimately adapt to a wide range of environmental and developmental changes in the host cell. This remarkable plasticity of gene expression results from the combined functionalities of viral and host factors that biochemically remodel and epigenetically modify the viral chromosome. These epigenetic modifications range from primary DNA methylations, to chromatin protein post-translational modifications, to higher-order chromosome conformations. In addition, gammaherpesviruses have acquired specialized tools to modulate the epigenetic processes that promote viral genome propagation and host-cell survival. PMID:23601957

  16. Interactions between epigenetics and metabolism in cancers

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Cancer progression is accompanied by widespread transcriptional changes and metabolic alterations. While it is widely accepted that the origin of cancer can be traced to the mutations that accumulate over time, relatively recent evidence favors a similarly fundamental role for alterations in the epigenome during tumorigenesis. Changes in epigenetics that arise from post-translational modifications of histones and DNA are exploited by cancer cells to upregulate and/or downregulate the expression levels of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, respectively. Although the mechanisms behind these modifications, in particular how they lead to gene silencing and activation, are still being understood, most of the enzymatic machinery of epigenetics require metabolites as substrates or cofactors. As a result, their activities can be influenced by the metabolic state of the cell. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of cancer epigenetics and metabolism and provide examples of where they converge. PMID:23162793

  17. Cocaine promotes both initiation and elongation phase of HIV-1 transcription by activating NF-κB and MSK1 and inducing selective epigenetic modifications at HIV-1 LTR

    SciTech Connect

    Sahu, Geetaram; Farley, Kalamo; El-Hage, Nazira; Aiamkitsumrit, Benjamas; Fassnacht, Ryan; Kashanchi, Fatah; Ochem, Alex; Simon, Gary L.; Karn, Jonathan; Hauser, Kurt F.; Tyagi, Mudit

    2015-09-15

    Cocaine accelerates human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) replication by altering specific cell-signaling and epigenetic pathways. We have elucidated the underlying molecular mechanisms through which cocaine exerts its effect in myeloid cells, a major target of HIV-1 in central nervous system (CNS). We demonstrate that cocaine treatment promotes HIV-1 gene expression by activating both nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-ĸB) and mitogen- and stress-activated kinase 1 (MSK1). MSK1 subsequently catalyzes the phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10, and p65 subunit of NF-ĸB at 276th serine residue. These modifications enhance the interaction of NF-ĸB with P300 and promote the recruitment of the positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) to the HIV-1 LTR, supporting the development of an open/relaxed chromatin configuration, and facilitating the initiation and elongation phases of HIV-1 transcription. Results are also confirmed in primary monocyte derived macrophages (MDM). Overall, our study provides detailed insights into cocaine-driven HIV-1 transcription and replication. - Highlights: • Cocaine induces the initiation phase of HIV transcription by activating NF-ĸB. • Cocaine induced NF-ĸB phosphorylation promotes its interaction with P300. • Cocaine enhances the elongation phase of HIV transcription by stimulating MSK1. • Cocaine activated MSK1 catalyzes the phosphorylation of histone H3 at its Ser10. • Cocaine induced H3S10 phosphorylation facilitates the recruitment of P-TEFb at LTR.

  18. Epigenetics of inflammation, maternal infection and nutrition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Studies have demonstrated that epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling are linked to an increased inflammatory response as well as increased risk for chronic disease development. A few studies have begun to investigate whether dietary nutrients play...

  19. Epigenetics Research on the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Love, John; Cooley, Vic

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Modified Matching Ronchi Test to Visualize Lens Aberrations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hassani, Kh; Ziafi, H. Hooshmand

    2011-01-01

    We introduce a modification to the matching Ronchi test to visualize lens aberrations with simple and inexpensive equipment available in educational optics labs. This method can help instructors and students to observe and estimate lens aberrations in real time. It is also a semi-quantitative tool for primary tests in research labs. In this work…

  1. Transgenerational Epigenetic Contributions to Stress Responses: Fact or Fiction?

    PubMed Central

    Nestler, Eric J.

    2016-01-01

    There has been increasing interest in the possibility that behavioral experience—in particular, exposure to stress—can be passed on to subsequent generations through heritable epigenetic modifications. The possibility remains highly controversial, however, reflecting the lack of standardized definitions of epigenetics and the limited empirical support for potential mechanisms of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Nonetheless, growing evidence supports a role for epigenetic regulation as a key mechanism underlying lifelong regulation of gene expression that mediates stress vulnerability. This Perspective provides an overview of the multiple meanings of the term epigenetic, discusses the challenges of studying epigenetic contributions to stress susceptibility—and the experimental evidence for and against the existence of such mechanisms—and outlines steps required for future investigations. PMID:27015088

  2. Epigenetic Mechanisms as an Interface Between the Environment and Genome.

    PubMed

    Herceg, Zdenko

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in epigenetics have had tremendous impact on our thinking and understanding of biological phenomena and the impact of environmental stressors on complex diseases, notably cancer. Environmental and lifestyle factors are thought to be implicated in the development of a wide range of human cancers by eliciting epigenetic changes, however, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Epigenetic mechanisms can be viewed as an interface between the genome and environmental influence, therefore aberrant epigenetic events associated with environmental stressors and factors in the cell microenvironment are likely to play an important role in the onset and progression of different human malignancies. At the cellular level, aberrant epigenetic events influence critical cellular events (such as gene expression, carcinogen detoxification, DNA repair, and cell cycle), which are further modulated by risk factor exposures and thus may define the severity/subtype of cancer. This review summarizes recent progress in our understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms through which environmental stressors and endogenous factors may promote tumor development and progression. PMID:27343085

  3. Epigenetic Dynamics: Role of Epimarks and Underlying Machinery in Plants Exposed to Abiotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Dhar, Manoj Kumar; Vishal, Parivartan; Sharma, Rahul; Kaul, Sanjana

    2014-01-01

    Abiotic stress induces several changes in plants at physiological and molecular level. Plants have evolved regulatory mechanisms guided towards establishment of stress tolerance in which epigenetic modifications play a pivotal role. We provide examples of gene expression changes that are brought about by conversion of active chromatin to silent heterochromatin and vice versa. Methylation of CG sites and specific modification of histone tail determine whether a particular locus is transcriptionally active or silent. We present a lucid review of epigenetic machinery and epigenetic alterations involving DNA methylation, histone tail modifications, chromatin remodeling, and RNA directed epigenetic changes. PMID:25313351

  4. 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. PMID:26492160

  5. Interpreting Chromosome Aberration Spectra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. Gestational diabetes mellitus, programing and epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jie; Yang, Huixia

    2014-08-01

    Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common medical complication in pregnancy. Offspring exposed to maternal hyperglycemia have a higher birth weight and are prone to develop metabolic disease in adult life. The intrauterine environmental or nutritional status seems to be involved in the fetal programing. The concept of "Developmental Origins of Health and Disease" (DOHaD) has been widely accepted and it brings new insights into the molecular pathogenesis of human diseases. The underlying mechanism is still under discussion and epigenetic mechanisms may provide an explanation for the phenomenon. The aim of this review is to illustrate the role of epigenetic modifications in the development of insulin resistance in metabolic diseases induced by adverse intrauterine exposures. Changes in epigenetic mechanism may be an early event in pathogenesis and progression of the metabolic disease in humans. Studies on epigenetic modifications contribute to our understanding of long-term effects of in utero exposure and shed light on the disease prevention and treatment by modulating epigenetic changes. PMID:24125565

  7. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Commonly Occurring Cancers

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Cancer is a collection of very complex diseases that share many traits while differing in many ways as well. This makes a universal cure difficult to attain, and it highlights the importance of understanding each type of cancer at a molecular level. Although many strides have been made in identifying the genetic causes for some cancers, we now understand that simple changes in the primary DNA sequence cannot explain the many steps that are necessary to turn a normal cell into a rouge cancer cell. In recent years, some research has shifted to focusing on detailing epigenetic contributions to the development and progression of cancer. These changes occur apart from primary genomic sequences and include DNA methylation, histone modifications, and miRNA expression. Since these epigenetic modifications are reversible, drugs targeting epigenetic changes are becoming more common in clinical settings. Daily discoveries elucidating these complex epigenetic processes are leading to advances in the field of cancer research. These advances, however, come at a rapid and often overwhelming pace. This review specifically summarizes the main epigenetic mechanisms currently documented in solid tumors common in the United States and Europe. PMID:22519822

  8. Sperm nuclear proteome and its epigenetic potential.

    PubMed

    Castillo, J; Amaral, A; Oliva, R

    2014-05-01

    The main function of the sperm cell is to transmit the paternal genetic message and epigenetic information to the embryo. Importantly, the majority of the genes in the sperm chromatin are highly condensed by protamines, whereas genes potentially needed in the initial stages of development are associated with histones, representing a form of epigenetic marking. However, so far little attention has been devoted to other sperm chromatin-associated proteins that, in addition to histones and protamines, may also have an epigenetic role. Therefore, with the goal of contributing to cover this subject we have compiled, reviewed and report a list of 581 chromatin or nuclear proteins described in the human sperm cell. Furthermore, we have analysed their Gene Ontology Biological Process enriched terms and have grouped them into different functional categories. Remarkably, we show that 56% of the sperm nuclear proteins have a potential epigenetic activity, being involved in at least one of the following functions: chromosome organization, chromatin organization, protein-DNA complex assembly, DNA packaging, gene expression, transcription, chromatin modification and histone modification. In addition, we have also included and compared the sperm cell proteomes of different model species, demonstrating the existence of common trends in the chromatin composition in the mammalian mature male gamete. Taken together, our analyses suggest that the mammalian sperm cell delivers to the offspring a rich combination of histone variants, transcription factors, chromatin-associated and chromatin-modifying proteins which have the potential to encode and transmit an extremely complex epigenetic information. PMID:24327354

  9. Epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic stem cell aging

    SciTech Connect

    Beerman, Isabel

    2014-12-10

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

  10. The Role of Epigenetics in Arterial Calcification

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shan-Shan; Lin, Xiao; Yuan, Ling-Qing; Liao, Er-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Arterial calcification is highly prevalent and correlated with cardiovascular mortality, especially in patients with ESRD or diabetes. The pathogenesis of arterial calcification is multifactorial, with both genetic and environmental factors being implicated. In recent years, several mechanisms contributing to arterial calcification have been proposed. However, these can only explain a small proportion of the variability in arterial calcification, which is a major obstacle for its prevention and management. Epigenetics has emerged as one of the most promising areas that may fill in some of the gaps in our current knowledge of the interaction between the environmental insults with gene regulation in the development of diseases. Epigenetics refers to heritable and acquired changes in gene transcription that occur independently of the DNA sequence. Well-known components of epigenetic regulation include DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs. Epigenetics research in the regulation of arterial calcification has only recently been elucidated. In this review, we will summarise recent progress in epigenetic pathways involved in arterial calcification and discuss potential therapeutic interventions based on epigenetic mechanisms. PMID:26221588

  11. Epigenetic Mechanisms of the Aging Human Retina

    PubMed Central

    Pennington, Katie L.; DeAngelis, Margaret M.

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Conference scene: Select Biosciences Epigenetics Europe 2010.

    PubMed

    Razvi, Enal S

    2011-02-01

    The field of epigenetics is now on a geometric rise, driven in a large part by the realization that modifiers of chromatin are key regulators of biological processes in vivo. The three major classes of epigenetic effectors are DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications (such as acetylation, methylation or phosphorylation) and small noncoding RNAs (most notably microRNAs). In this article, I report from Select Biosciences Epigenetics Europe 2010 industry conference held on 14-15 September 2010 at The Burlington Hotel, Dublin, Ireland. This industry conference was extremely well attended with a global pool of delegates representing the academic research community, biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical companies, as well as the technology/tool developers. This conference represented the current state of the epigenetics community with cancer/oncology as a key driver. In fact, it has been estimated that approximately 45% of epigenetic researchers today identify cancer/oncology as their main area of focus vis-à-vis their epigenetic research efforts. PMID:22126149

  13. A Brief History of Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Felsenfeld, Gary

    2014-01-01

    The term “epigenetics” was originally used to denote the poorly understood processes by which a fertilized zygote developed into a mature, complex organism. With the understanding that all cells of an organism carry the same DNA, and with increased knowledge of mechanisms of gene expression, the definition was changed to focus on ways in which heritable traits can be associated not with changes in nucleotide sequence, but with chemical modifications of DNA, or of the structural and regulatory proteins bound to it. Recent discoveries about the role of these mechanisms in early development may make it desirable to return to the original definition of epigenetics. PMID:24384572

  14. Genetics and Epigenetics of Diabetic Nephropathy

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ruijie; Lee, Kyung; He, John Cijiang

    2015-01-01

    Background Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the USA and worldwide, contributing to significant morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. A genetic factor for the development of DN is strongly implicated, as only one third of diabetic patients eventually develop kidney disease. Growing evidence also supports an important role of epigenetic modifications in DN. Summary Multiple studies have been performed to identify risk genes and loci associated with DN. So far, only several genes and loci have been identified, none of which showed a strong association with DN. Therefore, a better study design with a larger sample size to identify rare variants and a clinically defined patient population to identify genes and loci associated with progressive DN are still needed. In addition to genetic factors, epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs, also play a major role in the pathogenesis of DN through a second layer of gene regulation. Although a major progress has been made in this field, epigenetic studies in DN are still in the early phase and have been limited mostly due to the heterogeneity of kidney tissue samples with multiple cells. However, rapid development of high-throughput genome-wide techniques will help us to better identify genetic variants and epigenetic changes in DN. Key Message Understanding of genetic and epigenetic changes in DN is needed for the development of new biomarkers and better drug targets against DN. Summarized in this review are important recent findings on genetic and epigenetic studies in the field of DN.

  15. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Landgrave-Gómez, Jorge; Mercado-Gómez, Octavio; Guevara-Guzmán, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Epigenetics: An emerging player in gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Changwon; Song, Ji-Joon; Lee, Jaeok; Kim, Mi Young

    2014-01-01

    Cancers, like other diseases, arise from gene mutations and/or altered gene expression, which eventually cause dysregulation of numerous proteins and noncoding RNAs. Changes in gene expression, i.e., upregulation of oncogenes and/or downregulation of tumor suppressor genes, can be generated not only by genetic and environmental factors but also by epigenetic factors, which are inheritable but nongenetic modifications of cellular chromosome components. Identification of the factors that contribute to individual cancers is a prerequisite to a full understanding of cancer mechanisms and the development of customized cancer therapies. The search for genetic and environmental factors has a long history in cancer research, but epigenetic factors only recently began to be associated with cancer formation, progression, and metastasis. Epigenetic alterations of chromatin include DNA methylation and histone modifications, which can affect gene-expression profiles. Recent studies have revealed diverse mechanisms by which chromatin modifiers, including writers, erasers and readers of the aforementioned modifications, contribute to the formation and progression of cancer. Furthermore, functional RNAs, such as microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs, have also been identified as key players in these processes. This review highlights recent findings concerning the epigenetic alterations associated with cancers, especially gastric cancer. PMID:24914365

  17. Epigenetics: an emerging player in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Kang, Changwon; Song, Ji-Joon; Lee, Jaeok; Kim, Mi Young

    2014-06-01

    Cancers, like other diseases, arise from gene mutations and/or altered gene expression, which eventually cause dysregulation of numerous proteins and noncoding RNAs. Changes in gene expression, i.e., upregulation of oncogenes and/or downregulation of tumor suppressor genes, can be generated not only by genetic and environmental factors but also by epigenetic factors, which are inheritable but nongenetic modifications of cellular chromosome components. Identification of the factors that contribute to individual cancers is a prerequisite to a full understanding of cancer mechanisms and the development of customized cancer therapies. The search for genetic and environmental factors has a long history in cancer research, but epigenetic factors only recently began to be associated with cancer formation, progression, and metastasis. Epigenetic alterations of chromatin include DNA methylation and histone modifications, which can affect gene-expression profiles. Recent studies have revealed diverse mechanisms by which chromatin modifiers, including writers, erasers and readers of the aforementioned modifications, contribute to the formation and progression of cancer. Furthermore, functional RNAs, such as microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs, have also been identified as key players in these processes. This review highlights recent findings concerning the epigenetic alterations associated with cancers, especially gastric cancer. PMID:24914365

  18. [The alchemy--epigenetic regulation of pluripotency].

    PubMed

    Bem, Joanna; Grabowska, Iwona

    2013-01-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) self renew their population, also they are pluripotent which means they can differentiate into any given cell type. In specific culture conditions they remain undifferentiated. On the cellular level pluripotency is determined by many transcription factors, e.g. Sox2, Nanog, Klf4, Oct4. Epigenetic regulation is also crucial for both self renewal and pluripotency. This review focuses on epigenetic mechanisms, among them DNA methylation, posttranslational histone modifications, ATP dependent chromatin remodeling and miRNAs interactions. These mechanisms affect embryonic stem cells functions keeping them poised for differentiation. PMID:24044279

  19. Environmental Alterations of Epigenetics Prior to the Birth

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Chiao-Ling; Zhou, Feng C.

    2014-01-01

    The etiology of many brain diseases remains allusive to date after intensive investigation of genomic background and symptomatology from the day of birth. Emerging evidences indicate that a third factor, epigenetics prior to the birth, can exert profound influence on the development and functioning of the brain and over many neurodevelopmental syndromes. This chapter reviews how aversive environmental exposure to parents might predispose or increase vulnerability of offspring to neurodevelopmental deficit through alteration of epigenetics. These epigenetic altering environmental factors will be discussed in the category of addictive agents, nutrition or diet, prescriptive medicine, environmental pollutant, and stress. Epigenetic alterations induced by these aversive environmental factors cover all aspects of epigenetics including DNA methylation, histone modification, non-coding RNA, and chromatin modification. Next, the mechanisms how these environmental inputs influence epigenetics will be discussed. Finally, how environmentally altered epigenetic marks affect neurodevelopment is exemplified by the alcohol-induced fetal alcohol syndrome. It is hoped that a thorough understanding of the nature of prenatal epigenetic inputs will enable researchers with a clear vision to better unravel neurodevelopmental deficit, late onset neuropsychiatric diseases, or idiosyncratic mental disorders. PMID:25131541

  20. Epigenetic biomarkers in laboratory diagnostics: emerging approaches and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Sandoval, Juan; Peiró-Chova, Lorena; Pallardó, Federico V; García-Giménez, José Luis

    2013-06-01

    Epigenetics has emerged as a new and promising field in recent years. Lifestyle, stress, drugs, physiopathological situations and pharmacological interventions have a great impact on the epigenetic code of the cells by altering the methylome, miRNA expression and the covalent histone modifications. Since there exists a need to find new biomarkers and improve diagnosis for several diseases, the research on epigenetic biomarkers for molecular diagnostics encourages the translation of this field from the bench to clinical practice. In this context, deciphering intricate epigenetic modifications involved in several molecular processes is a challenge that will be solved in the near future. In this review, the authors present an overview of the high-throughput technologies and laboratory techniques available for epigenetic studies, and also discuss which of them are more reliable to be used in a clinical diagnostic laboratory. In addition, the authors describe the most promising epigenetic biomarkers in lung, colorectal and prostate cancer, in which most advances have been achieved. Finally, the authors describe epigenetic biomarkers in some rare diseases; these rare syndromes are paradigms for a specific impaired molecular pathway, thus providing valuable information on the discovery of new epigenetic biomarkers. PMID:23782253

  1. Environmental alterations of epigenetics prior to the birth.

    PubMed

    Lo, Chiao-Ling; Zhou, Feng C

    2014-01-01

    The etiology of many brain diseases remains allusive to date after intensive investigation of genomic background and symptomatology from the day of birth. Emerging evidences indicate that a third factor, epigenetics prior to the birth, can exert profound influence on the development and functioning of the brain and over many neurodevelopmental syndromes. This chapter reviews how aversive environmental exposure to parents might predispose or increase vulnerability of offspring to neurodevelopmental deficit through alteration of epigenetics. These epigenetic altering environmental factors will be discussed in the category of addictive agents, nutrition or diet, prescriptive medicine, environmental pollutant, and stress. Epigenetic alterations induced by these aversive environmental factors cover all aspects of epigenetics including DNA methylation, histone modification, noncoding RNA, and chromatin modification. Next, the mechanisms how these environmental inputs influence epigenetics will be discussed. Finally, how environmentally altered epigenetic marks affect neurodevelopment is exemplified by the alcohol-induced fetal alcohol syndrome. It is hoped that a thorough understanding of the nature of prenatal epigenetic inputs will enable researchers with a clear vision to better unravel neurodevelopmental deficit, late-onset neuropsychiatric diseases, or idiosyncratic mental disorders. PMID:25131541

  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. Recent developments in epigenetics of acute and chronic kidney diseases.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Marpadga A; Natarajan, Rama

    2015-08-01

    The growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes, the aging population as well as prevalence of drug abuse has led to significant increases in the rates of the closely associated acute and chronic kidney diseases, including diabetic nephropathy. Furthermore, evidence shows that parental behavior and diet can affect the phenotype of subsequent generations via epigenetic transmission mechanisms. These data suggest a strong influence of the environment on disease susceptibility and that, apart from genetic susceptibility, epigenetic mechanisms need to be evaluated to gain critical new information about kidney diseases. Epigenetics is the study of processes that control gene expression and phenotype without alterations in the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications, including cytosine DNA methylation and covalent post-translational modifications of histones in chromatin, are part of the epigenome, the interface between the stable genome and the variable environment. This dynamic epigenetic layer responds to external environmental cues to influence the expression of genes associated with disease states. The field of epigenetics has seen remarkable growth in the past few years with significant advances in basic biology, contributions to human disease, as well as epigenomics technologies. Further understanding of how the renal cell epigenome is altered by metabolic and other stimuli can yield novel new insights into the pathogenesis of kidney diseases. In this review, we have discussed the current knowledge on the role of epigenetic mechanisms (primarily DNAme and histone modifications) in acute and chronic kidney diseases, and their translational potential to identify much needed new therapies. PMID:25993323

  4. Recent Developments in Epigenetics of Acute and Chronic Kidney Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, Marpadga A.; Natarajan, Rama

    2015-01-01

    The growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes, the aging population as well as prevalence of drug abuse has led to significant increases in the rates of the closely associated acute and chronic kidney diseases, including diabetic nephropathy. Furthermore, evidence shows that parental behavior and diet can affect the phenotype of subsequent generations via epigenetic transmission mechanisms. These data suggest a strong influence of the environment on disease susceptibility and that, apart from genetic susceptibility, epigenetic mechanisms need to be evaluated to gain critical new information about kidney diseases. Epigenetics is the study of processes that control gene expression and phenotype without alterations in the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications, including cytosine DNA methylation and covalent post translational modifications of histones in chromatin are part of the epigenome, the interface between the stable genome and the variable environment. This dynamic epigenetic layer responds to external environmental cues to influence the expression of genes associated with disease states. The field of epigenetics has seen remarkable growth in the past few years with significant advances in basic biology, contributions to human disease, as well as epigenomics technologies. Further understanding of how the renal cell epigenome is altered by metabolic and other stimuli can yield novel new insights into the pathogenesis of kidney diseases. In this review, we have discussed the current knowledge on the role of epigenetic mechanisms (primarily DNA me and histone modifications) in acute and chronic kidney diseases, and their translational potential to identify much needed new therapies. PMID:25993323

  5. Genetic and epigenetic contributors to FSHD.

    PubMed

    Daxinger, Lucia; Tapscott, Stephen J; van der Maarel, Silvère M

    2015-08-01

    Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) is an autosomal dominant muscle disorder characterized by distinct chromatin changes including DNA hypomethylation of the D4Z4 macrosatellite repeat array on a disease-permissive 4qA allele and aberrant expression of the D4Z4-embedded DUX4 retrogene in skeletal muscle. Insufficient epigenetic repression of the D4Z4 repeat is the result of at least two different genetic mechanisms leading to two forms of disease, FSHD1 and FSHD2. In the case of FSHD1, a contraction of the D4Z4 repeat array is disease causing whereas FSHD2 is most often caused by mutations in the structural maintenance of chromosomes hinge domain 1 (SMCHD1) gene. Recent studies indicate that a combination of genetic and epigenetic factors that act on the D4Z4 repeat array determine the probability of DUX4 expression in skeletal muscle and disease penetrance and progression. PMID:26356006

  6. Computational Modelling Approaches on Epigenetic Factors in Neurodegenerative and Autoimmune Diseases and Their Mechanistic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Khanam Irin, Afroza; Tom Kodamullil, Alpha; Gündel, Michaela; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative as well as autoimmune diseases have unclear aetiologies, but an increasing number of evidences report for a combination of genetic and epigenetic alterations that predispose for the development of disease. This review examines the major milestones in epigenetics research in the context of diseases and various computational approaches developed in the last decades to unravel new epigenetic modifications. However, there are limited studies that systematically link genetic and epigenetic alterations of DNA to the aetiology of diseases. In this work, we demonstrate how disease-related epigenetic knowledge can be systematically captured and integrated with heterogeneous information into a functional context using Biological Expression Language (BEL). This novel methodology, based on BEL, enables us to integrate epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation or acetylation of histones into a specific disease network. As an example, we depict the integration of epigenetic and genetic factors in a functional context specific to Parkinson's disease (PD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). PMID:26636108

  7. Epigenetic Control of Cell Division and Cell Differentiation in the Root Apex

    PubMed Central

    Takatsuka, Hirotomo; Umeda, Masaaki

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics is defined as heritable changes in gene expression and genome integrity that are accompanied by no alteration in DNA sequence. Throughout plant life cycle, many processes, including genome imprinting, stress responses, and cellular differentiation, are known to be determined by epigenetic regulation. The root apex is also considered to be under the control of epigenetic regulation for optimal growth under variable environments. Recent reports reveal that epigenetic control is especially important in the stem cell niche and the meristematic zone where both cell production and cell specification occur. DNA methylation, histone methylation, and histone acetylation are well-known epigenetic modifications, and each epigenetic modification has distinct roles in roots. Here, we review the updated findings that demonstrate the significance of epigenetic regulation in root apex of Arabidopsis. PMID:26734056

  8. 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 ...

  9. Epigenetics: A key paradigm in reproductive health

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that there is a heritable element of susceptibility to chronic human ailments, yet there is compelling evidence that some components of such heritability are transmitted through non-genetic factors. Due to the complexity of reproductive processes, identifying the inheritance patterns of these factors is not easy. But little doubt exists that besides the genomic backbone, a range of epigenetic cues affect our genetic programme. The inter-generational transmission of epigenetic marks is believed to operate via four principal means that dramatically differ in their information content: DNA methylation, histone modifications, microRNAs and nucleosome positioning. These epigenetic signatures influence the cellular machinery through positive and negative feedback mechanisms either alone or interactively. Understanding how these mechanisms work to activate or deactivate parts of our genetic programme not only on a day-to-day basis but also over generations is an important area of reproductive health research. PMID:27358824

  10. Genetic and epigenetic abnormalities in systemic sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Makino, Takamitsu; Jinnin, Masatoshi

    2016-01-01

    Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a complicated autoimmune and connective tissue disease, of which the pathogenesis and treatment have not been fully elucidated. SSc patients may have a genetic predisposition, such as specific human leukocyte antigens and single nucleotide polymorphisms, but can also develop various clinical symptoms with individual differences. Epigenetics, such as DNA methylation, histone modification, long non-coding RNA and miRNA, could explain the crossroad between genetics and environmental factors. For instance, epigenetics is associated with environmental factors, which may cause the breakdown of immune tolerance and the development of SSc in patients with a particular genetic background. In the future, further investigations of the interplay between genetics and epigenetics will be beneficial to elucidate the complex molecular cross-talk and heterogeneity in the SSc pathogenesis. Furthermore, this research will lead to the discovery of new therapeutic approaches and biomarkers. PMID:26782002

  11. The paternal hidden agenda: Epigenetic inheritance through sperm chromatin.

    PubMed

    Puri, Deepika; Dhawan, Jyotsna; Mishra, Rakesh K

    2010-07-01

    Epigenetic modifications play a crucial role in developmental gene regulation. These modifications, being reversible, provide a layer of information over and above the DNA sequence, that has plasticity and leads to the generation of cell type-specific epigenomes during cellular differentiation. In almost all higher eukaryotes, the oocyte provides not only its cytoplasm, mitochondria, maternally deposited RNA and proteins but also an epigenetic component in the form of DNA and histone-modifications. During spermeiogenesis however, most of the histones are replaced by protamines, leading to a loss of the epigenetic component. The sperm is, therefore, viewed as a passive carrier of the paternal genome with a disproportionate, lower epigenetic contribution except for DNA methylation, to the next generation. A recent study overturns this view by demonstrating a locus-specific retention of histones, with specific modifications in the sperm chromatin at the promoters of developmentally important genes. This programmed retention of epigenetic marks with a role in embryonic development is suggested to offset, in some measure, the dominant maternal effect. This new finding helps in addressing the question of epigenetic transmission of environmental and 'lifestyle' experiences across generations and raises the question of 'parental conflict' at the loci that may be differentially marked. PMID:20448473

  12. The Aberration Corrected SEM

    SciTech Connect

    Joy, David C.

    2005-09-09

    The performance of the conventional low-energy CD-SEM is limited by the aberrations inherent in the probe forming lens. Multi-pole correctors are now available which can reduce or eliminate these aberrations. An SEM equipped with such a corrector offers higher spatial resolution and more probe current from a given electron source, and other aspects of the optical performance are also improved, but the much higher numerical aperture associated with an aberration corrected lens results in a reduction in imaging depth of field.

  13. Epigenetic therapy in gastrointestinal cancer: the right combination.

    PubMed

    Abdelfatah, Eihab; Kerner, Zachary; Nanda, Nainika; Ahuja, Nita

    2016-07-01

    Epigenetics is a relatively recent field of molecular biology that has arisen over the past 25 years. Cancer is now understood to be a disease of widespread epigenetic dysregulation that interacts extensively with underlying genetic mutations. The development of drugs targeting these processes has rapidly progressed; with several drugs already FDA approved as first-line therapy in hematological malignancies. Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers possess high degrees of epigenetic dysregulation, exemplified by subtypes such as CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and the potential benefit of epigenetic therapy in these cancers is evident. The application of epigenetic drugs in solid tumors, including GI cancers, is just emerging, with increased understanding of the cancer epigenome. In this review, we provide a brief overview of cancer epigenetics and the epigenetic targets of therapy including deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodeling. We discuss the epigenetic drugs currently in use, with a focus on DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, and explain the pharmacokinetic and mechanistic challenges in their application. We present the strategies employed in incorporating these drugs into the treatment of GI cancers, and explain the concept of the cancer stem cell in epigenetic reprogramming and reversal of chemo resistance. We discuss the most promising combination strategies in GI cancers including: (1) epigenetic sensitization to radiotherapy, (2) epigenetic sensitization to cytotoxic chemotherapy, and (3) epigenetic immune modulation and priming for immune therapy. Finally, we present preclinical and clinical trial data employing these strategies thus far in various GI cancers including colorectal, esophageal, gastric, and pancreatic cancer. PMID:27366224

  14. Epigenetic therapy in gastrointestinal cancer: the right combination

    PubMed Central

    Abdelfatah, Eihab; Kerner, Zachary; Nanda, Nainika; Ahuja, Nita

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics is a relatively recent field of molecular biology that has arisen over the past 25 years. Cancer is now understood to be a disease of widespread epigenetic dysregulation that interacts extensively with underlying genetic mutations. The development of drugs targeting these processes has rapidly progressed; with several drugs already FDA approved as first-line therapy in hematological malignancies. Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers possess high degrees of epigenetic dysregulation, exemplified by subtypes such as CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and the potential benefit of epigenetic therapy in these cancers is evident. The application of epigenetic drugs in solid tumors, including GI cancers, is just emerging, with increased understanding of the cancer epigenome. In this review, we provide a brief overview of cancer epigenetics and the epigenetic targets of therapy including deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodeling. We discuss the epigenetic drugs currently in use, with a focus on DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, and explain the pharmacokinetic and mechanistic challenges in their application. We present the strategies employed in incorporating these drugs into the treatment of GI cancers, and explain the concept of the cancer stem cell in epigenetic reprogramming and reversal of chemo resistance. We discuss the most promising combination strategies in GI cancers including: (1) epigenetic sensitization to radiotherapy, (2) epigenetic sensitization to cytotoxic chemotherapy, and (3) epigenetic immune modulation and priming for immune therapy. Finally, we present preclinical and clinical trial data employing these strategies thus far in various GI cancers including colorectal, esophageal, gastric, and pancreatic cancer. PMID:27366224

  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. Mitochondria: Masters of Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Tatar, Marc; Sedivy, John M

    2016-05-19

    Accumulating evidence argues that aging exerts a profound influence on epigenetics, and vice versa. A pair of studies by Merkwirth et al. and Tian et al. now provide insights on how mitochondrial stress experienced by C. elegans larvae propagates a specific and persistent epigenetic response that protects adult cells and extends lifespan. PMID:27203109

  17. 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. PMID:26696517

  18. Epigenetic mechanisms of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome.

    PubMed

    Park, Elizabeth; Kim, Yunha; Ryu, Hyun; Kowall, Neil W; Lee, Junghee; Ryu, Hoon

    2014-03-01

    Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS) is an incurable genetic disorder with combination of mental retardation and physical features including broad thumbs and toes, craniofacial abnormalities, and growth deficiency. While the autosomal dominant mode of transmission is limitedly known, the majority of cases are attributable to de novo mutations in RTS. The first identified gene associated with RTS is CREB-binding protein (CREBBP/CBP). Alterations of the epigenetic 'histone code' due to dysfunction of the CBP histone acetyltransferase activity deregulate gene transcriptions that are prominently linked to RTS pathogenesis. In this review, we discuss how CBP mutation contributes to modifications of histone and how histone deacetylase inhibitors are therapeutically applicable to epigenetic conditioning in RTS. Since most genetic mutations are irreversible and therapeutic approaches are limited, therapeutic targeting of reversible epigenetic components altered in RTS may be an ideal strategy. Expeditious further study on the role of the epigenetic mechanisms in RTS is encouraged to identify novel epigenetic markers and therapeutic targets to treat RTS. PMID:24381114

  19. UVA-induced epigenetic regulation of P16(INK4a) in human epidermal keratinocytes and skin tumor derived cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, I-Peng; Henning, Stefan; Faust, Alexandra; Boukamp, Petra; Volkmer, Beate; Greinert, Rüdiger

    2012-01-01

    UVA-radiation (315-400 nm) has been demonstrated to be capable of inducing DNA damage and is regarded as a carcinogen. While chromosomal aberrations found in UVA-irradiated cells and skin tumors provided evidence of the genetic involvement in UVA-carcinogenesis, its epigenetic participation is still illusive. We thus analysed the epigenetic patterns of 5 specific genes that are involved in stem cell fate (KLF4, NANOG), telomere maintenance (hTERT) and tumor suppression in cell cycle control (P16(INK4a), P21(WAFI/CIPI)) in chronically UVA-irradiated HaCaT human keratinocytes. A striking reduction of the permissive histone mark H3K4me3 has been detected in the promoter of P16(INK4a) (4-fold and 9-fold reduction for 10 and 15 weeks UVA-irradiated cells, respectively), which has often been found deregulated in skin cancers. This alteration in histone modification together with a severe promoter hypermethylation strongly impaired the transcription of P16(INK4a) (20-fold and 40-fold for 10 weeks and 15 weeks UVA-irradiation, respectively). Analysis of the skin tumor-derived cells revealed the same severe impairment of the P16(INK4a) transcription attributed to promoter hypermethylation and enrichment of the heterochromatin histone mark H3K9me3 and the repressive mark H3K27me3. Less pronounced UVA-induced epigenetic alterations were also detected for the other genes, demonstrating for the first time that UVA is able to modify transcription of skin cancer associated genes by means of epigenetic DNA and histone alterations. PMID:21986889

  20. Perspectives on epigenetic-based immune intervention for rheumatic diseases

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Rheumatic disease can loosely be described as any painful condition affecting the loco-motor system, including joints, muscles, connective tissues, and soft tissues around the joints and bones. There is a wide spectrum of rheumatic diseases, many of which involve autoimmunity, including systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. A significant body of evidence now links aberrant epigenetic regulation of gene expression with rheumatic disease and points toward the use of epigenetic targeting agents as potential new treatment options, particularly for those conditions associated with an autoimmune element. In this perspective, I will briefly cover the current knowledge surrounding this area in the field of rheumatology. PMID:23510070

  1. Aberrant Vimentin Methylation Is Characteristic of Upper Gastrointestinal Pathologies

    PubMed Central

    Moinova, Helen; Leidner, Rom S.; Ravi, Lakshmeswari; Lutterbaugh, James; Barnholtz-Sloan, Jill S.; Chen, Yanwen; Chak, Amitabh; Markowitz, Sanford D.; Willis, Joseph E.

    2012-01-01

    Background We have previously established aberrant DNA methylation of Vimentin exon-1 (VIM methylation) as a common epigenetic event in colon cancer and as a biomarker for detecting colon neoplasia. We now examine VIM methylation in neoplasia of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Methods Using a quantitative real-time Methylation-Specific PCR assay we tested for VIM methylation in archival specimens of esophageal and gastric neoplasia. Results We find that acquisition of aberrant VIM methylation is highly common in these neoplasms, but largely absent in controls. The highest frequency of VIM methylation was detected in lesions of the distal esophagus, including 91% of Barrett’s esophagus (BE, n=11), 100% of high grade dysplasia (HGD, n=5), and 81% of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC, n=26), but absent in controls (n=9). VIM methylation similarly was detected in 87% of signet ring (n=15) and 53% of intestinal type gastric cancers (n=17). Moreover, in tests of cytology brushings VIM methylation proved detectable in 100% of BE cases (n=7), 100% of HGD cases (n=4), and 83% of EAC cases (n=18), but was absent in all controls (n=5). Conclusions These findings establish aberrant VIM methylation as a highly common epigenetic alteration in neoplasia of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and demonstrate that Barrett’s esophagus, even without dysplasia, already contains epigenetic alterations characteristic of adenocarcinoma. Impact These findings suggest VIM methylation as a biomarker of upper gastrointestinal neoplasia with potential for development as molecular cytology in esophageal screening. PMID:22315367

  2. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Landgrave-Gómez, Jorge; Mercado-Gómez, Octavio; Guevara-Guzmán, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Molecular targets of epigenetic regulation and effectors of environmental influences

    SciTech Connect

    Choudhuri, Supratim; Cui Yue; Klaassen, Curtis D.

    2010-06-15

    The true understanding of what we currently define as epigenetics evolved over time as our knowledge on DNA methylation and chromatin modifications and their effects on gene expression increased. The current explosion of research on epigenetics and the increasing documentation of the effects of various environmental factors on DNA methylation, chromatin modification, as well as on the expression of small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have expanded the scope of research on the etiology of various diseases including cancer. The current review briefly discusses the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and expands the discussion with examples on the role of environment, such as the immediate environment during development, in inducing epigenetic changes and modulating gene expression.

  4. Diet, the Gut Microbiome, and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Hullar, Meredith A. J.; Fu, Benjamin C.

    2014-01-01

    Increasingly, the gut microbiome is implicated in the etiology of cancer, not only as an infectious agent, but also by altering exposure to dietary compounds that influence disease risk. While the composition and metabolism of the gut microbiome is influenced by diet, the gut microbiome can also modify dietary exposures in ways that are beneficial or detrimental to the human host. The colonic bacteria metabolize macronutrients, either as specialists or in consortia of bacteria, in a variety of diverse metabolic pathways. Microbial metabolites of diet can also be epigenetic activators of gene expression that may influence cancer risk in humans. Epigenetic involves heritable changes in gene expression via post translational and post transcriptional modifications. Microbial metabolites can influence epigenetics by altering the pool of compounds used for modification or by directly inhibiting enzymes involved in epigenetic pathways. Colonic epithelium is immediately exposed to these metabolites, although some metabolites are also found in systemic circulation. In this review, we discuss the role of the gut microbiome in dietary metabolism and how microbial metabolites may influence gene expression linked to colon cancer risk. PMID:24855003

  5. Epigenetics of osteoarticular diseases: recent developments.

    PubMed

    Roberts, S B; Wootton, E; De Ferrari, L; Albagha, O M; Salter, D M

    2015-08-01

    A variety of osteoarticular conditions possess an underlying genetic aetiology. Large-scale genome-wide association studies have identified several genetic loci associated with osteoarticular conditions, but were unable to fully account for their estimated heritability. Epigenetic modifications including DNA methylation, histone modification, nucleosome positioning, and microRNA expression may help account for this incomplete heritability. This articles reviews insights from epigenetic studies in osteoarticular diseases, focusing on osteoarthritis, but also examines recent advances in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), ankylosing spondylitis, and sarcoma. Genome-wide methylation studies are permitting identification of novel candidate genes and molecular pathways, and the pathogenic mechanisms with altered methylation status are beginning to be elucidated. These findings are gradually translating into improved understanding of disease pathogenesis and clinical applications. Functional studies in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and SLE are now identifying downstream molecular alterations that may confer disease susceptibility. Epigenetic markers are being validated as prognostic and therapeutic disease biomarkers in sarcoma, and clinical trials of hypomethylating agents as treatments for sarcoma are being conducted. In concert with advances in throughput and cost-efficiency of available technologies, future epigenetic research will enable greater characterisation and treatment for both common and rare osteoarticular diseases. PMID:25812537

  6. Aberrant histone acetylation contributes to elevated interleukin-6 production in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Wada, Takuma Tsuzuki; Araki, Yasuto; Sato, Kojiro; Aizaki, Yoshimi; Yokota, Kazuhiro; Kim, Yoon Taek; Oda, Hiromi; Kurokawa, Riki; Mimura, Toshihide

    2014-02-21

    Accumulating evidence indicates that epigenetic aberrations have a role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, reports on histone modifications are as yet quite limited in RA. Interleukin (IL)-6 is an inflammatory cytokine which is known to be involved in the pathogenesis of RA. Here we report the role of histone modifications in elevated IL-6 production in RA synovial fibroblasts (SFs). The level of histone H3 acetylation (H3ac) in the IL-6 promoter was significantly higher in RASFs than osteoarthritis (OA) SFs. This suggests that chromatin structure is in an open or loose state in the IL-6 promoter in RASFs. Furthermore, curcumin, a histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibitor, significantly reduced the level of H3ac in the IL-6 promoter, as well as IL-6 mRNA expression and IL-6 protein secretion by RASFs. Taken together, it is suggested that hyperacetylation of histone H3 in the IL-6 promoter induces the increase in IL-6 production by RASFs and thereby participates in the pathogenesis of RA. PMID:24513290

  7. Phosphorylation of epigenetic "readers, writers and erasers": Implications for developmental reprogramming and the epigenetic basis for health and disease.

    PubMed

    Treviño, Lindsey S; Wang, Quan; Walker, Cheryl L

    2015-07-01

    Epigenetic reprogramming that occurs during critical periods of development can increase the susceptibility to many diseases in adulthood. Programming of the epigenome during development occurs via the activity of a variety of epigenetic modifiers, including "readers, writers and erasers" of histone methyl marks. Posttranslational modification of these programmers can alter their activity, resulting in global or gene-specific changes in histone methylation and gene transcription. This review summarizes what is currently known about phosphorylation of histone methyltransferases ("writers"), demethylases ("erasers") and effector proteins ("readers) that program the epigenome, and the impact of this posttranslational modification on their activity. Understanding how the activity of these epigenetic programmers is perturbed by environmental exposures via changes in phosphorylation is key to understanding mechanisms of developmental reprogramming and the epigenetic basis of health and disease. PMID:25841987

  8. Chronic Pain: Emerging Evidence for the Involvement of Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Denk, Franziska; McMahon, Stephen B.

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic processes, such as histone modifications and DNA methylation, have been associated with many neural functions including synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. Here, we critically examine emerging evidence linking epigenetic mechanisms to the development or maintenance of chronic pain states. Although in its infancy, research in this area potentially unifies several pathophysiological processes underpinning abnormal pain processing and opens up a different avenue for the development of novel analgesics. PMID:22325197

  9. Neurogenesis-based epigenetic therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease (Review).

    PubMed

    Li, Xueyuan; Bao, Xinjie; Wang, Renzhi

    2016-08-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a worldwide health problem with multiple pathogenic causes including aging, and genetic and environmental factors. As the interfaces between genes and the environment, epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modification and microRNAs, are also involved in the pathogenesis of AD. Neurogenesis occurs throughout life in the normal adult brain of mammals. The neurogenic process, consisting of the proliferation, differentiation and maturation of neural stem cells (NSC), is regulated via epigenetic mechanisms by controlling the expression of specific sets of genes. In the pathology of AD, due to impairments in epigenetic mechanisms, the generation of neurons from NSCs is damaged, which exacerbates the loss of neurons and the deficits in learning and memory function associated with AD. Based on neurogenesis, a number of therapeutic strategies have shown capability in promoting neuronal generation to compensate for the neurons lost in AD, thereby improving cognitive function through epigenetic modifications. This provides potential for the treatment of AD by stimulating neurogenesis using epigenetic strategies. The present review discusses the epigenetics of AD and adult neurogenesis, and summarizes the neurogenesis-based epigenetic therapies targeted at AD. Such a review may offer information for the guidance of future developments of therapeutic strategies for AD. PMID:27314984

  10. 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

  11. [Epigenetics: a novel tool for early diagnosis and tumor therapy].

    PubMed

    Filetici, Patrizia

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics, first described by Conrad Waddington, defines how pathways setting a specific phenotype and heritable cellular functions are activated in a DNA independent way. Epigenetics concerns the study of genome structure and accessibility that regulates patterns of gene expression through the dynamic compaction and opening the chromatin structure. Vincent Allfrey profetically declared in 1964 that histone modifications could influence gene expression. In cancer very often cells show a profound modification of DNA methylation and mutations in chromatin regulators. These evidences provided therefore a clear link between epigenetics and neoplasia. Advanced molecular technology such as Deep-sequencing and ChIP-Seq revealed the frequent relocalization in cancer of many PTM readers such the Ac-Lys binding bromodomain. These results were important for the development of novel classes of epigenetic drugs some of which are inhibitors of histone modifyers or molecule interacting with reader domains. Since cancer imply profound changes in the epigenetic profile and in gene transcription a future challenge of molecular and chemical biology will be to develop novel epigenetic compounds able to correct the epigenetic disfunction and, possibly, coadiuvate canonical therapy in the cure of cancer. PMID:25621778

  12. 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. PMID:25102229

  13. Epigenetic changes: a common theme in acute myelogenous leukemogenesis.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Soraya E; Romero-Oliva, Francisco A

    2013-01-01

    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a rather common disease, characterized by the presence of a clonal population of hematopoietic progenitor cells with impaired differentiation. Although traditionally AML has been considered the result of genetic alterations, more recently experimental evidence have demonstrated that epigenetic modifications are important in development and maintenance of leukemia cells. In this review we summarize current scientific knowledge of epigenetic alterations involved in leukemogenesis. We also highlight the developing of new technological strategies that are based on epigenetic processes and have been registered as Patents of Inventions in the United Nations dependent World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) and the main Patent offices worldwide. PMID:23938080

  14. Epigenetic changes: a common theme in acute myelogenous leukemogenesis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a rather common disease, characterized by the presence of a clonal population of hematopoietic progenitor cells with impaired differentiation. Although traditionally AML has been considered the result of genetic alterations, more recently experimental evidence have demonstrated that epigenetic modifications are important in development and maintenance of leukemia cells. In this review we summarize current scientific knowledge of epigenetic alterations involved in leukemogenesis. We also highlight the developing of new technological strategies that are based on epigenetic processes and have been registered as Patents of Inventions in the United Nations dependent World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) and the main Patent offices worldwide. PMID:23938080

  15. Epigenetic and developmental regulation in plant polyploids

    PubMed Central

    Song, Qingxin; Chen, Z. Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Polyploidy or whole-genome duplication occurs in some animals and many flowering plants, including many important crops such as wheat, cotton and oilseed rape. The prevalence of polyploidy in the plant kingdom suggests it as an important evolutionary feature for plant speciation and crop domestication. Studies of natural and synthetic polyploids have revealed rapid and dynamic changes in genomic structure and gene expression after polyploid formation. Growing evidence suggests that epigenetic modifications can alter homoeologous gene expression and reprogram gene expression networks, which allows polyploids to establish new cytotypes, grow vigorously and adapt in local environments. Sequence and gene expression changes in polyploids have been well documented and reviewed elsewhere. This review is focused on developmental regulation and epigenetic changes including DNA methylation and histone modifications in polyploids. PMID:25765928

  16. Preservation of Epigenetic Memory During DNA Replication

    PubMed Central

    Lowe, Matthew; Hostager, Reilly; Kikyo, Nobuaki

    2016-01-01

    Faithful duplication of a cell’s epigenetic state during DNA replication is essential for the maintenance of a cell’s lineage. One of the key mechanisms is the recruitment of several critical chromatin modifying enzymes to the replication fork by proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Another mechanism is mediated by the dual function of some histone modifying enzymes as both “reader” and “writer” of the same modification. This capacity allows for parental histones to act as a seed to copy the modification onto nearby newly synthesized histones. In contrast to the vast quantity of research into the maintenance of epigenetic memory, little is known about how the recruitment of these maintenance enzymes changes during stem cell differentiation. This question is especially pertinent due to the recent emphasis on cell reprogramming for regenerative medicine. PMID:27158681

  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. PMID

  18. 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

  19. Quantifying polymorphism and divergence from epigenetic data: a framework for inferring the action of selection.

    PubMed

    Mahajan, Shivani; Crisci, Jessica; Wong, Alex; Akbarian, Schahram; Foll, Matthieu; Jensen, Jeffrey D

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are alterations that regulate gene expression without modifying the underlying DNA sequence. DNA methylation and histone modifications, for example, are capable of spatial and temporal regulation of expression-with several studies demonstrating that these epigenetic marks are heritable. Thus, like DNA sequence, epigenetic marks are capable of storing information and passing it from one generation to the next. Because the epigenome is dynamic and epigenetic modifications can respond to external environmental stimuli, such changes may play an important role in adaptive evolution. While recent studies provide strong evidence for species-specific signatures of epigenetic marks, little is known about the mechanisms by which such modifications evolve. In order to address this question, we analyze the genome wide distribution of an epigenetic histone mark (H3K4me3) in prefrontal cortex neurons of humans, chimps and rhesus macaques. We develop a novel statistical framework to quantify within- and between-species variation in histone methylation patterns, using an ANOVA-based method and defining an FST -like measure for epigenetics (termed epi- FST), in order to develop a deeper understanding of the evolutionary pressures acting on epigenetic variation. Results demonstrate that genes with high epigenetic FST values are indeed significantly overrepresented among genes that are differentially expressed between species, and we observe only a weak correlation with SNP density. PMID:26074949

  20. Quantifying polymorphism and divergence from epigenetic data: a framework for inferring the action of selection

    PubMed Central

    Mahajan, Shivani; Crisci, Jessica; Wong, Alex; Akbarian, Schahram; Foll, Matthieu; Jensen, Jeffrey D.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are alterations that regulate gene expression without modifying the underlying DNA sequence. DNA methylation and histone modifications, for example, are capable of spatial and temporal regulation of expression—with several studies demonstrating that these epigenetic marks are heritable. Thus, like DNA sequence, epigenetic marks are capable of storing information and passing it from one generation to the next. Because the epigenome is dynamic and epigenetic modifications can respond to external environmental stimuli, such changes may play an important role in adaptive evolution. While recent studies provide strong evidence for species-specific signatures of epigenetic marks, little is known about the mechanisms by which such modifications evolve. In order to address this question, we analyze the genome wide distribution of an epigenetic histone mark (H3K4me3) in prefrontal cortex neurons of humans, chimps and rhesus macaques. We develop a novel statistical framework to quantify within- and between-species variation in histone methylation patterns, using an ANOVA-based method and defining an FST -like measure for epigenetics (termed epi- FST), in order to develop a deeper understanding of the evolutionary pressures acting on epigenetic variation. Results demonstrate that genes with high epigenetic FST values are indeed significantly overrepresented among genes that are differentially expressed between species, and we observe only a weak correlation with SNP density. PMID:26074949

  1. Epigenetics: new concepts of old phenomena in vascular physiology.

    PubMed

    Krause, Bernardo; Sobrevia, Luis; Casanello, Paola

    2009-10-01

    The hypothesis of 'Developmental Origins of Health and Disease' (DOHaD) relies on the presence of mechanisms sensing and signalling a diversity of stimuli during fetal development. The mechanisms that have been broadly suggested to be involved in these processes are the epigenetic modifications that could 'record' perinatal stimuli. Since the definition of epigenetic and the associated mechanisms are conflictive, in this review epigenetic was defined as 'chromosome-based mechanisms that can change the phenotypic plasticity in a cell or organism'. The most understood epigenetic mechanisms (i.e. DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications (PTM), ATP-dependent chromatin modifications and non-coding RNAs) and reported evidence for their role in fetal programming were briefly reviewed. The development of the vascular system is strongly influenced by epigenetic mechanisms. For that reason vascular cells are good candidates to be explored regarding epigenetic programming since its proved susceptibility to be imprinted. This has been described in pregnancy diseases such as intra-uterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, where changes in vascular function are preserved in vitro. PMID:19485890

  2. Epigenetics, the holy grail in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Altorok, Nezam; Almeshal, Nawaf; Wang, Yongqing; Kahaleh, Bashar

    2015-10-01

    The objective of this review is to present evidence that supports the central role of epigenetic regulation in the pathogenesis of SSc. SSc is a complex autoimmune disease characterized by immune activation, fibrosis of the skin and internal organs and obliterative vasculopathy affecting predominantly the microvessels. Remarkable progress has been made in the past few years emphasizing the importance of epigenetic modifications in the pathogenesis of many disorders, including SSc. Current evidence demonstrates alterations in DNA methylation, histone code modifications and changes in microRNA (miRNA) expression levels in SSc cells. Recent reports have described the differential expression of numerous regulatory miRNAs in SSc, mainly in SSc fibroblasts, a number of which are important in TGF-β pathways and downstream signalling cascades. While studies to date have revealed the significant role of epigenetic modifications in the pathogenesis of SSc, the causal nature of epigenetic alterations in SSc pathogenesis remains elusive. Additional longitudinal and comprehensive epigenetic studies designed to evaluate the effect of environmental epigenetic factors on disease pathogenesis are needed. PMID:24740406

  3. Epigenetic changes in diabetes.

    PubMed

    Al-Haddad, Rami; Karnib, Nabil; Assaad, Rawad Abi; Bilen, Yara; Emmanuel, Nancy; Ghanem, Anthony; Younes, Joe; Zibara, Victor; Stephan, Joseph S; Sleiman, Sama F

    2016-06-20

    The incidence of diabetes is increasing worldwide. Diabetes is quickly becoming one of the leading causes of death. Diabetes is a genetic disease; however, the environment plays critical roles in its development and progression. Epigenetic changes often translate environmental stimuli to changes in gene expression. Changes in epigenetic marks and differential regulation of epigenetic modulators have been observed in different models of diabetes and its associated complications. In this minireview, we will focus DNA methylation, Histone acetylation and methylation and their roles in the pathogenesis of diabetes. PMID:27130819

  4. Nutrition, Epigenetics, and Metabolic Syndrome

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Cancer Chemoprevention by Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine and Dietary Phytochemicals: Targeting Nrf2-Mediated Oxidative Stress/Anti-Inflammatory Responses, Epigenetics, and Cancer Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hun Lee, Jong; Shu, Limin; Fuentes, Francisco; Su, Zheng-Yuan; Tony Kong, Ah-Ng

    2013-01-01

    Excessive oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS), and reactive metabolites of carcinogens alters cellular homeostasis, leading to genetic/epigenetic changes, genomic instability, neoplastic transformation, and cancer initiation/progression. As a protective mechanism against oxidative stress, antioxidant/detoxifying enzymes reduce these reactive species and protect normal cells from endo-/exogenous oxidative damage. The transcription factor nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45 (NF-E2)-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a master regulator of the antioxidative stress response, plays a critical role in the expression of many cytoprotective enzymes, including NAD(P)H:quinine oxidoreductase (NQO1), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT), and glutathione S-transferase (GST). Recent studies demonstrated that many dietary phytochemicals derived from various vegetables, fruits, spices, and herbal medicines induce Nrf2-mediated antioxidant/detoxifying enzymes, restore aberrant epigenetic alterations, and eliminate cancer stem cells (CSCs). The Nrf2-mediated antioxidant response prevents many age-related diseases, including cancer. Owing to their fundamental contribution to carcinogenesis, epigenetic modifications and CSCs are novel targets of dietary phytochemicals and traditional Chinese herbal medicine (TCHM). In this review, we summarize cancer chemoprevention by dietary phytochemicals, including TCHM, which have great potential as a safer and more effective strategy for preventing cancer. PMID:24716158

  6. Epigenetic biomarkers in esophageal cancer.

    PubMed

    Kaz, Andrew M; Grady, William M

    2014-01-28

    The aberrant DNA methylation of tumor suppressor genes is well documented in esophageal cancer, including adenocarcinoma (EAC) and squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) as well as in Barrett's esophagus (BE), a pre-malignant condition that is associated with chronic acid reflux. BE is a well-recognized risk factor for the development of EAC, and consequently the standard of care is for individuals with BE to be placed in endoscopic surveillance programs aimed at detecting early histologic changes that associate with an increased risk of developing EAC. Yet because the absolute risk of EAC in individuals with BE is minimal, a clinical need in the management of BE is the identification of additional risk markers that will indicate individuals who are at a significant absolute risk of EAC so that they may be subjected to more intensive surveillance. The best currently available risk marker is the degree of dysplasia in endoscopic biopsies from the esophagus; however, this marker is suboptimal for a variety of reasons. To date, there are no molecular biomarkers that have been translated to widespread clinical practice. The search for biomarkers, including hypermethylated genes, for either the diagnosis of BE, EAC, or ESCC or for risk stratification for the development of EAC in those with BE is currently an area of active research. In this review, we summarize the status of identified candidate epigenetic biomarkers for BE, EAC, and ESCC. Most of these aberrantly methylated genes have been described in the context of early detection or diagnostic markers; others might prove useful for estimating prognosis or predicting response to treatment. Finally, special attention will be paid to some of the challenges that must be overcome in order to develop clinically useful esophageal cancer biomarkers. PMID:22406828

  7. Epigenomic Analysis of Sézary Syndrome Defines Patterns of Aberrant DNA Methylation and Identifies Diagnostic Markers.

    PubMed

    van Doorn, Remco; Slieker, Roderick C; Boonk, Stéphanie E; Zoutman, Willem H; Goeman, Jelle J; Bagot, Martine; Michel, Laurence; Tensen, Cornelis P; Willemze, Rein; Heijmans, Bas T; Vermeer, Maarten H

    2016-09-01

    Sézary syndrome (Sz) is a malignancy of skin-homing CD4(+) memory T cells that is clinically characterized by erythroderma, lymphadenopathy, and blood involvement. Distinction of Sz from erythroderma secondary to inflammatory skin diseases (erythrodermic inflammatory dermatosis [EID]) is often challenging. Recent studies identified recurrent mutations in epigenetic enzymes involved in DNA modification in Sz. Here we defined the DNA methylomes of purified CD4(+) T cells from patients with Sz, EID, and healthy control subjects. Sz showed extensive global DNA methylation alterations, with 7.8% of 473,921 interrogated autosomal CpG sites showing hypomethylation and 3.2% hypermethylation. Promoter CpG islands were markedly enriched for hypermethylation. The 126 genes with recurrent promoter hypermethylation in Sz included multiple candidate tumor suppressors that showed transcriptional repression, implicating aberrant methylation in the pathogenesis of Sz. Validation in an independent sample set showed promoter hypermethylation of CMTM2, C2orf40, G0S2, HSPB6, PROM1, and PAM in 94-100% of Sz samples but not in EID samples. Notably, promoter hypermethylation of a single gene, the chemokine-like factor CMTM2, was sufficient to accurately distinguish Sz from EID in all cases. This study shows that Sz is characterized by widespread yet distinct DNA methylation alterations, which can be used clinically as epigenetic diagnostic markers. PMID:27113428

  8. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying cardiac degeneration and regeneration*

    PubMed Central

    Chaturvedi, Pankaj; Tyagi, Suresh C.

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications which are defined by DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA mediated gene regulation, have been found to be associated with cardiac dysfunction and cardiac regeneration but the mechanisms are unclear. MicroRNA therapies have been proposed for cardiac regeneration and proliferation of stem cells into cardiomyocytes. Cardiovascular disorders are represented by abnormal methylation of CpG islands and drugs that inhibit DNA methyl transferases such as 5-methyl Aza cytidine are under trials. Histone modifications which include acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, ADP ribosylation, sumoylation and biotinylation are represented within abnormal phenotypes of cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac development and contractility. MicroRNAs have been used efficiently to epigenetically reprogram fibroblasts into cardiomyocytes. MicroRNAs represent themselves as potential biomarkers for early detection of cardiac disorders which are difficult to diagnose and are captured at later stages. Because microRNAs regulate circadian genes, for example a nocturnin gene of circadian clockwork is regulated by mir122, they have profound role in regulating biological clock and this may explain the high cardiovascular risk during the morning time. This review highlights the role of epigenetics which can be helpful in disease management strategies. PMID:24636549

  9. From Waddington's epigenetic landscape to small noncoding RNA: some important milestones in the history of epigenetics research.

    PubMed

    Choudhuri, Supratim

    2011-05-01

    The term epigenetics was coined in 1942 by C.H. Waddington in the context of studies on development. Since then, the meaning of epigenetics changed over time. In the beginning, epigenetics was viewed as a phenomenon above and beyond genetics. Epigenetic explanations were invoked when genetics could not explain a phenomenon. From the mid-seventies, the state of understanding started changing. Epigenetics has now morphed from a phenomenon to a branch of science whose molecular underpinnings are well understood. The current state of knowledge of epigenetics has evolved as our understanding of DNA methylation, chromatin modifications, and noncoding RNA, and their effects on gene expression increased. At this time in the annals of epigentics research, it is appropriate to revisit some of the important discoveries that have helped advance the field to its current state. This is a very brief review of some early discoveries, and by no means is a complete account of the history of epigenetics. In this review, the early history has also been emphasized in order to underscore the transformation of the science of epigenetics from a phenomenon to a modern field of intense research. PMID:21495865

  10. Epigenetics in the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Houston, Isaac; Peter, Cyril J; Mitchell, Amanda; Straubhaar, Juerg; Rogaev, Evgeny; Akbarian, Schahram

    2013-01-01

    Many cellular constituents in the human brain permanently exit from the cell cycle during pre- or early postnatal development, but little is known about epigenetic regulation of neuronal and glial epigenomes during maturation and aging, including changes in mood and psychosis spectrum disorders and other cognitive or emotional disease. Here, we summarize the current knowledge base as it pertains to genome organization in the human brain, including the regulation of DNA cytosine methylation and hydroxymethylation, and a subset of (altogether >100) residue-specific histone modifications associated with gene expression, and silencing and various other functional chromatin states. We propose that high-resolution mapping of epigenetic markings in postmortem brain tissue or neural cultures derived from induced pluripotent cells (iPS), in conjunction with transcriptome profiling and whole-genome sequencing, will increasingly be used to define the molecular pathology of specific cases diagnosed with depression, schizophrenia, autism, or other major psychiatric disease. We predict that these highly integrative explorations of genome organization and function will provide an important alternative to conventional approaches in human brain studies, which mainly are aimed at uncovering group effects by diagnosis but generally face limitations because of cohort size. PMID:22643929

  11. [The meaning of epigenetics].

    PubMed

    Hu, Kai

    2002-11-01

    Epigenetics, the term was introduced by Conrad H.Waddington, in 1942,he said that to compare genetics with epigenetics, the study of the processes by which genotype gives rise to phenotype. In 1987, Robin Holliday redefined epigenetic as "Nuclear inheritance which is not based on differences in DNA sequence". The author of this paper introduced that in Science,10 August 2001,there was a special collection of review articles focused on the topic of epigenetics. The new "histone code" hypothesis states that the highly modifiable amino termini could carry their own combinatorial codes to help control phenotype,and that part of this code is heritable. And in light of this hypothesis,researchers are approaching further possibilities in human biology and types of cancer and other diseases. PMID:15979980

  12. [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. PMID:26088002

  13. 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. PMID:22639577

  14. 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. PMID:25035395

  15. The Epigenetic Mechanisms of Amphetamine

    PubMed Central

    McCowan, Talus J.; Dhasarathy, Archana; Carvelli, Lucia

    2015-01-01

    Amphetamine (AMPH) is a psychostimulant and the most prescribed drug to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Although therapeutically used doses are generally well tolerated, numerous side effects are still known to occur, such as jitteriness, loss of appetite and psychosis. Moreover, AMPH is liable to be abused by users looking for increased alertness, weight loss or athletic performance. A growing body of evidence indicates that drugs of abuse, including AMPH, control gene expression through chromatin modifications. However, while numerous studies have investigated the molecular mechanisms of AMPH action, only a small number of studies have explored changes in gene expression caused by AMPH. This review examines the epigenetic changes induced by chronic and acute treatments with AMPH and includes, where relevant, data obtained with other psychostimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Immune surveillance should be directed to suppress tumor development and progression, involving a balance of coinhibitory and costimulatory signals that amplify immune response without overwhelming the host. Immunotherapy confers durable clinical benefit in 'immunogenic tumors', whereas in other tumors the responses are modest. Thus, immune checkpoint inhibitors may need to be combined with strategies to boost immune response or increase the tumor immune profile. Epigenetic aberrations contribute significantly to carcinogenesis. Recent findings suggest that epigenetic drugs prime the immune response by increasing expression of tumor-associated antigens and immune-related genes, as well as modulating chemokines and cytokines involved in immune system activation. This review describes our current understanding regarding epigenetic and immunotherapy combination, focusing on immune response priming to checkpoint blockade. PMID:27197539

  17. Epigenetics in Comparative Biology: Why We Should Pay Attention

    PubMed Central

    Burggren, Warren W.; Crews, David

    2014-01-01

    The past decade has seen an explosion of articles in scientific journals involving non-genetic influences on phenotype through modulation of gene function without changes in gene sequence. The excitement in modern molecular biology surrounding the impact exerted by the environment on development of the phenotype is focused largely on mechanism and has not incorporated questions asked (and answers provided) by early philosophers, biologists, and psychologists. As such, this emergence of epigenetic studies is somewhat “old wine in new bottles” and represents a reformulation of the old debate of preformationism versus epigenesis—one resolved in the 1800s. Indeed, this tendency to always look forward, with minimal concern or regard of what has gone before, has led to the present situation in which “true” epigenetic studies are believed to consist of one of two schools. The first is primarily medically based and views epigenetic mechanisms as pathways for disease (e.g., “the epigenetics of cancer”). The second is primarily from the basic sciences, particularly molecular genetics, and regards epigenetics as a potentially important mechanism for organisms exposed to variable environments across multiple generations. There is, however, a third, and separate, school based on the historical literature and debates and regards epigenetics as more of a perspective than a phenomenon. Against this backdrop, comparative integrative biologists are particularly well-suited to understand epigenetic phenomena as a way for organisms to respond rapidly with modified phenotypes (relative to natural selection) to changes in the environment. Using evolutionary principles, it is also possible to interpret “sunsetting” of modified phenotypes when environmental conditions result in a disappearance of the epigenetic modification of gene regulation. Comparative integrative biologists also recognize epigenetics as a potentially confounding source of variation in their data

  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. Heavy metals and epigenetic alterations in brain tumors.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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

  20. DNA N6-Methyladenine: a new epigenetic mark in eukaryotes?

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Guan-Zheng; Blanco, Mario Andres; Greer, Eric Lieberman; He, Chuan; Shi, Yang

    2016-01-01

    DNA N6-adenine methylation (6mA) in prokaryotes functions primarily in the host defense system. The prevalence and significance of this modification in eukaryotes has been unclear until recently. Here we discuss recent publications documenting the presence of 6mA in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans, consider possible roles for this DNA modification in regulating transcription, transposable elements and trans-generational epigenetic inheritance, and propose 6mA as a new epigenetic mark in eukaryotes. PMID:26507168

  1. Epigenetic targets of HDAC inhibition in neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Abel, Ted; Zukin, R Suzanne

    2008-02-01

    Epigenetic chromatin remodeling and modifications of DNA represent central mechanisms for regulation of gene expression during brain development and in memory formation. Emerging evidence implicates epigenetic modifications in disorders of synaptic plasticity and cognition. This review focuses on recent findings that HDAC inhibitors can ameliorate deficits in synaptic plasticity, cognition, and stress-related behaviors in a wide range of neurologic and psychiatric disorders including Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, anxiety and mood disorders, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, and Rett syndrome. These agents may prove useful in the clinic for the treatment of the cognitive impairments that are central elements of many neurodevelopmental, neurological, and psychiatric disorders. PMID:18206423

  2. Emerging Role of Epigenetics in Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms refer to the complex and interrelated molecular processes that dynamically modulate gene expression and function within every cell in the body. These regulatory systems represent the long-sought-after molecular interfaces that mediate gene × environment interactions. Changes in the epigenome throughout life are responsible not only for controlling normal development, adult homeostasis, and aging but also for mediating responses to injury. Emerging evidence implicates a spectrum of epigenetic processes in the pathophysiology of stroke. In this review, we describe conventional epigenetic mechanisms (including DNA methylation, histone code modifications, nucleosome remodeling, and higher-order chromatin formation) and highlight the emerging roles each of these processes play in the pathobiology of stroke. We suggest that understanding these mechanisms may be important for discovering more sensitive and specific biomarkers for risk, onset, and progression of stroke. In addition, we highlight epigenetic approaches for stroke therapy, including the inhibition of DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase enzyme activities. These therapeutic approaches are still in their infancy, but preliminary results suggest that contemporary agents targeting these pathways can regulate the deployment of stress responses that modulate neural cell viability and promote brain repair and functional reorganization. Indeed, these agents even appear to orchestrate sophisticated cognitive functions, including learning and memory. PMID:21060009

  3. Epigenetic linkage of aging, cancer and nutrition

    PubMed Central

    Daniel, Michael; Tollefsbol, Trygve O.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms play a pivotal role in the expression of genes and can be influenced by both the quality and quantity of diet. Dietary compounds such as sulforaphane (SFN) found in cruciferous vegetables and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in green tea exhibit the ability to affect various epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibition, histone modifications via histone deacetylase (HDAC), histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibition, or noncoding RNA expression. Regulation of these epigenetic mechanisms has been shown to have notable influences on the formation and progression of various neoplasms. We have shown that an epigenetic diet can influence both cellular longevity and carcinogenesis through the modulation of certain key genes that encode telomerase and p16. Caloric restriction (CR) can also play a crucial role in aging and cancer. Reductions in caloric intake have been shown to increase both the life- and health-span in a variety of animal models. Moreover, restriction of glucose has been demonstrated to decrease the incidence of age-related diseases such as cancer and diabetes. A diet rich in compounds such as genistein, SFN and EGCG can positively modulate the epigenome and lead to many health benefits. Also, reducing the quantity of calories and glucose in the diet can confer an increased health-span, including reduced cancer incidence. PMID:25568452

  4. Phenotype as Agent for Epigenetic Inheritance.

    PubMed

    Torday, John S; Miller, William B

    2016-01-01

    The conventional understanding of phenotype is as a derivative of descent with modification through Darwinian random mutation and natural selection. Recent research has revealed Lamarckian inheritance as a major transgenerational mechanism for environmental action on genomes whose extent is determined, in significant part, by germ line cells during meiosis and subsequent stages of embryological development. In consequence, the role of phenotype can productively be reconsidered. The possibility that phenotype is directed towards the effective acquisition of epigenetic marks in consistent reciprocation with the environment during the life cycle of an organism is explored. It is proposed that phenotype is an active agent in niche construction for the active acquisition of epigenetic marks as a dominant evolutionary mechanism rather than a consequence of Darwinian selection towards reproductive success. The reproductive phase of the life cycle can then be appraised as a robust framework in which epigenetic inheritance is entrained to affect growth and development in continued reciprocal responsiveness to environmental stresses. Furthermore, as first principles of physiology determine the limits of epigenetic inheritance, a coherent justification can thereby be provided for the obligate return of all multicellular eukaryotes to the unicellular state. PMID:27399791

  5. Epigenetics and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Unmet Needs.

    PubMed

    Meroni, Pier Luigi; Penatti, Alessandra Emiliana

    2016-06-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic relapsing-remitting autoimmune disease affecting several organs. Although the management of lupus patients has improved in the last years, several aspects still remain challenging. More sensitive and specific biomarkers for an early diagnosis as well as for monitoring disease activity and tissue damage are needed. Genome-wide association and gene mapping studies have supported the genetic background for SLE susceptibility. However, the relatively modest risk association and the studies in twins have suggested a role for environmental and epigenetic factors, as well as genetic-epigenetic interaction. Accordingly, there is evidence that differences in DNA methylation, histone modifications, and miRNA profiling can be found in lupus patients versus normal subjects. Moreover, impaired DNA methylation on the inactive X-chromosome was suggested to explain, at least in part, the female prevalence of the disease. Epigenetic markers may be help in fulfilling the unmet needs for SLE by offering new diagnostic tools, new biomarkers for monitoring disease activity, or to better characterize patients with a silent clinical disease but with an active serology. Anti-DNA, anti-phospholipid, and anti-Ro/SSA autoantibodies are thought to be pathogenic for glomerulonephritis, recurrent thrombosis and miscarriages, and neonatal lupus, respectively. However, tissue damage occurs occasionally or, in some patients, only in spite of the persistent presence of the antibodies. Preliminary studies suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may explain why the damage takes place in some patients only or at a given time. PMID:26206675

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Epigenetic mechanisms in cancer: push and pull between kneaded erasers and fate writers

    PubMed Central

    Farooqi, Ammad Ahmad; Tang, Jen-Yang; Li, Ruei-Nian; Ismail, Muhammad; Chang, Yung-Ting; Shu, Chih-Wen; Yuan, Shyng-Shiou F; Liu, Jing-Ru; Mansoor, Qaisar; Huang, Chih-Jen; Chang, Hsueh-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Research concerning the epigenome over the years has systematically and sequentially shown substantial development and we have moved from global inhibition of modifications of the epigenome toward identification and targeted therapy against tumor-specific epigenetic mechanisms. In accordance with this approach, several drugs with epigenetically modulating activity have received considerable attention and appreciation, and recently emerging scientific evidence is uncovering details of their mode of action. High-throughput technologies have considerably improved our existing understanding of tumor suppressors, oncogenes, and signaling pathways that are key drivers of cancer. In this review, we summarize the general epigenetic mechanisms in cancer, including: the post-translational modification of DNA methyltransferase and its mediated inactivation of Ras association domain family 1 isoform A, Sonic hedgehog signaling, Wnt signaling, Notch signaling, transforming growth factor signaling, and natural products with epigenetic modification ability. Moreover, we introduce the importance of nanomedicine for delivery of natural products with modulating ability to epigenetic machinery in cancer cells. Such in-depth and comprehensive knowledge regarding epigenetic dysregulation will be helpful in the upcoming era of molecular genomic pathology for both detection and treatment of cancer. Epigenetic information will also be helpful when nanotherapy is used for epigenetic modification. PMID:25995628

  8. Epigenetic mechanisms in cancer: push and pull between kneaded erasers and fate writers.

    PubMed

    Farooqi, Ammad Ahmad; Tang, Jen-Yang; Li, Ruei-Nian; Ismail, Muhammad; Chang, Yung-Ting; Shu, Chih-Wen; Yuan, Shyng-Shiou F; Liu, Jing-Ru; Mansoor, Qaisar; Huang, Chih-Jen; Chang, Hsueh-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Research concerning the epigenome over the years has systematically and sequentially shown substantial development and we have moved from global inhibition of modifications of the epigenome toward identification and targeted therapy against tumor-specific epigenetic mechanisms. In accordance with this approach, several drugs with epigenetically modulating activity have received considerable attention and appreciation, and recently emerging scientific evidence is uncovering details of their mode of action. High-throughput technologies have considerably improved our existing understanding of tumor suppressors, oncogenes, and signaling pathways that are key drivers of cancer. In this review, we summarize the general epigenetic mechanisms in cancer, including: the post-translational modification of DNA methyltransferase and its mediated inactivation of Ras association domain family 1 isoform A, Sonic hedgehog signaling, Wnt signaling, Notch signaling, transforming growth factor signaling, and natural products with epigenetic modification ability. Moreover, we introduce the importance of nanomedicine for delivery of natural products with modulating ability to epigenetic machinery in cancer cells. Such in-depth and comprehensive knowledge regarding epigenetic dysregulation will be helpful in the upcoming era of molecular genomic pathology for both detection and treatment of cancer. Epigenetic information will also be helpful when nanotherapy is used for epigenetic modification. PMID:25995628

  9. Genetic and epigenetic control of plant heat responses

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Junzhong; Feng, Lili; Li, Jianming; He, Zuhua

    2015-01-01

    Plants have evolved sophisticated genetic and epigenetic regulatory systems to respond quickly to unfavorable environmental conditions such as heat, cold, drought, and pathogen infections. In particular, heat greatly affects plant growth and development, immunity and circadian rhythm, and poses a serious threat to the global food supply. According to temperatures exposing, heat can be usually classified as warm ambient temperature (about 22–27°C), high temperature (27–30°C) and extremely high temperature (37–42°C, also known as heat stress) for the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The genetic mechanisms of plant responses to heat have been well studied, mainly focusing on elevated ambient temperature-mediated morphological acclimation and acceleration of flowering, modulation of circadian clock and plant immunity by high temperatures, and thermotolerance to heat stress. Recently, great progress has been achieved on epigenetic regulation of heat responses, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, histone variants, ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling, histone chaperones, small RNAs, long non-coding RNAs and other undefined epigenetic mechanisms. These epigenetic modifications regulate the expression of heat-responsive genes and function to prevent heat-related damages. This review focuses on recent progresses regarding the genetic and epigenetic control of heat responses in plants, and pays more attention to the role of the major epigenetic mechanisms in plant heat responses. Further research perspectives are also discussed. PMID:25964789

  10. Environment, epigenetics and neurodegeneration: Focus on nutrition in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Nicolia, Vincenzina; Lucarelli, Marco; Fuso, Andrea

    2015-08-01

    Many different environmental factors (nutrients, pollutants, chemicals, physical activity, lifestyle, physical and mental stress) can modulate epigenetic markers in the developing and adult organism. Epigenetics, in turn, can cause and is associated with several neurodegenerative and aging-dependent human diseases. Alzheimer's disease certainly represents one of the most relevant neurodegenerative disorders due to its incidence and its huge socio-economic impact. Therefore, it is easy to understand why recent literature focuses on the epigenetic modifications associated with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. One of the most intriguing and, at the same time, worrying evidence is that even "mild" environmental factors (such as behavioral or physical stress) as well as the under-threshold exposure to pollutants and chemicals, can be effective. Finally, even mild nutrients disequilibria can result in long-lasting and functional alterations of many epigenetic markers, although they don't have an immediate acute effect. Therefore, we will probably have to re-define the current risk threshold for many factors, molecules and stresses. Among the many different environmental factors affecting the epigenome, nutrition represents one of the most investigated fields; the reasons are probably that each person interacts with nutrients and that, in turn, nutrients can modulate at molecular level the epigenetic biochemical pathways. The role that nutrition can exert in modulating epigenetic modifications in Alzheimer's disease will be discussed with particular emphasis on the role of B vitamins and DNA methylation. PMID:25456841

  11. [How to localize epigenetics in the landscape of biological research?].

    PubMed

    Morange, Michel

    2005-04-01

    Today, epigenetics is a very fashionable field of research. Modification of DNA by methylation, and of chromatin by histone modification or substitution represents a major fraction of the studies; but this special issue shows that epigenetic studies are very diverse, and not limited to the study of chromatin. What is common behind these different uses of the word epigenetics? A brief historical survey shows that epigenetics was invented twice, with different meanings: in the 1940s, by Conrad Waddington, as the study of the relations between the genotype and the phenotype; in the 1960s, as the global mechanisms of gene regulation involved in differentiation and development; what is common is that an approach distinct from genetics was in both cases considered as necessary because genetic models were incapable to address these problems. A good way to appreciate the relations between genetics and epigenetics is to realize that the main aim of organisms is to reproduce, and to consider the way organisms perform this task. Genetics is the precise means organisms have invented to reproduce the structure of their macromolecular components; the genome is also used to control the level and place of this reproduction. All the other means organisms have used to reproduce were more or less the result of tinkering, and constitute the field of epigenetics, with its diversity and richness. PMID:15811300

  12. 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

  13. Understanding type 2 diabetes: from genetics to epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Raciti, Gregory Alexander; Longo, Michele; Parrillo, Luca; Ciccarelli, Marco; Mirra, Paola; Ungaro, Paola; Formisano, Pietro; Miele, Claudia; Béguinot, Francesco

    2015-10-01

    The known genetic variability (common DNA polymorphisms) does not account either for the current epidemics of type 2 diabetes or for the family transmission of this disorder. However, clinical, epidemiological and, more recently, experimental evidence indicates that environmental factors have an extraordinary impact on the natural history of type 2 diabetes. Some of these environmental hits are often shared in family groups and proved to be capable to induce epigenetic changes which alter the function of genes affecting major diabetes traits. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms may explain the environmental origin as well as the familial aggregation of type 2 diabetes much easier than common polymorphisms. In the murine model, exposure of parents to environmental hits known to cause epigenetic changes reprograms insulin sensitivity as well as beta-cell function in the progeny, indicating that certain epigenetic changes can be transgenerationally transmitted. Studies from different laboratories revealed that, in humans, lifestyle intervention modulates the epigenome and reverts environmentally induced epigenetic modifications at specific target genes. Finally, specific human epigenotypes have been identified which predict adiposity and type 2 diabetes with much greater power than any polymorphism so far identified. These epigenotypes can be recognized in easily accessible white cells from peripheral blood, indicating that, in the future, epigenetic profiling may enable effective type 2 diabetes prediction. This review discusses recent evidence from the literature supporting the immediate need for further investigation to uncover the power of epigenetics in the prediction, prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. PMID:25841587

  14. Bifurcation in epigenetics: Implications in development, proliferation, and diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jost, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Cells often exhibit different and stable phenotypes from the same DNA sequence. Robustness and plasticity of such cellular states are controlled by diverse transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms, among them the modification of biochemical marks on chromatin. Here, we develop a stochastic model that describes the dynamics of epigenetic marks along a given DNA region. Through mathematical analysis, we show the emergence of bistable and persistent epigenetic states from the cooperative recruitment of modifying enzymes. We also find that the dynamical system exhibits a critical point and displays, in the presence of asymmetries in recruitment, a bifurcation diagram with hysteresis. These results have deep implications for our understanding of epigenetic regulation. In particular, our study allows one to reconcile within the same formalism the robust maintenance of epigenetic identity observed in differentiated cells, the epigenetic plasticity of pluripotent cells during differentiation, and the effects of epigenetic misregulation in diseases. Moreover, it suggests a possible mechanism for developmental transitions where the system is shifted close to the critical point to benefit from high susceptibility to developmental cues.

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

    PubMed Central

    Martos, Suzanne N.; Tang, Wan-yee; Wang, Zhibin

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:25792089

  16. 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. PMID:25792089

  17. Epigenetic Alterations in Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Skin Carcinogenesis: Interaction of Bioactive Dietary Components on Epigenetic Targets†

    PubMed Central

    Katiyar, Santosh K.; Singh, Tripti; Prasad, Ram; Sun, Qian; Vaid, Mudit

    2011-01-01

    The importance of epigenetic alterations in the development of various diseases including the cancers has been realized. As epigenetic changes are reversible heritable changes, these can be utilized as an effective strategy for the prevention of cancers. DNA methylation is the most characterized epigenetic mechanism that can be inherited without changing the DNA sequence. Although limited, but available data suggest that silencing of tumor suppressor genes in ultraviolet (UV) radiation-exposed epidermis leads to photocarcinogenesis and is associated with a network of epigenetic modifications including alterations in DNA methylation, DNA methyltransferases and histone acetylations. Various bioactive dietary components have been shown to protect skin from UV radiation-induced skin tumors in animal models. The role of bioactive dietary components, such as, (−)-epicatechins from green tea and proanthocyanidins from grape seeds, has been assessed in chemoprevention of UV-induced skin carcinogenesis and underlying epigenetic mechanism in vitro and in vivo animal models. These bioactive components have the ability to block UV-induced DNA hypermethylation and histone modifications in the skin required for the silencing of tumor suppressor genes (e.g., Cip1/p21, p16INK4a). These information are of importance for understanding the role of epigenetic modulation in UV-induced skin tumor and the chemopreventive mechanism of bioactive dietary components. PMID:22017262

  18. Key Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms in Chemical Carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ravegnini, Gloria; Sammarini, Gulia; Hrelia, Patrizia; Angelini, Sabrina

    2015-11-01

    DNA sequence and genetic factors alone cannot fully explain the many processes implicated in diseases initiation and development. It is now well understood that additional factors are involved in a final resulting phenotype. Epigenetic modifications, heritable changes not affecting the DNA sequence, are a key phenomenon at the basis of normal growth and differentiation. However, these can be defective leading to diseases, such as cancer. An increasing body of literature reports the environmental and occupational exposure to a mixture of natural and man-produced substances leading to epigenetic alterations. The identification of key genetic and/or epigenetic events involved in chemical carcinogenesis is an important step towards the discovery of biomarkers that can be used to evaluate the exposure, predict biological effects, and prevent adverse health consequences. Here, we focus on epidemiological studies to review the most recent advances in understanding genetic and epigenetic factors in relation to particulate matter, benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons exposure. PMID:26500287

  19. The role of epigenetic mechanisms and processes in autoimmune disorders

    PubMed Central

    Greer, Judith M; McCombe, Pamela A

    2012-01-01

    The lack of complete concordance of autoimmune disease in identical twins suggests that nongenetic factors play a major role in determining disease susceptibility. In this review, we consider how epigenetic mechanisms could affect the immune system and effector mechanisms in autoimmunity and/or the target organ of autoimmunity and thus affect the development of autoimmune diseases. We also consider the types of stimuli that lead to epigenetic modifications and how these relate to the epidemiology of autoimmune diseases and the biological pathways operative in different autoimmune diseases. Increasing our knowledge of these epigenetic mechanisms and processes will increase the prospects for controlling or preventing autoimmune diseases in the future through the use of drugs that target the epigenetic pathways. PMID:23055689

  20. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying learning and the inheritance of learned behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Klengel, Torsten; Ressler, Kerry J

    2014-01-01

    Gene expression and regulation is an important sculptor of the behavior of organisms. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression not by altering the genetic alphabet but rather by the addition of chemical modifications to proteins associated with the alphabet or of methyl marks to the alphabet itself. Being dynamic, epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation serve as an important bridge between environmental stimuli and genotype. In this review, we outline epigenetic mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated in animals and humans. Using fear learning as a framework, we then delineate how such mechanisms underlie learning and stress responsiveness. Finally, we discuss how epigenetic mechanisms might inform us about the transgenerational inheritance of behavioral traits that are being increasingly reported. PMID:25544352

  1. Epigenetics changes associated to environmental triggers in autoimmunity.

    PubMed

    Cañas, Carlos A; Cañas, Felipe; Bonilla-Abadía, Fabio; Ospina, Fabio E; Tobón, Gabriel J

    2016-02-01

    Autoimmune diseases (AIDs) are chronic conditions initiated by the loss of immunological tolerance to self-antigens and represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organs in different systems. While the pathogenesis of AID remains unclear, its aetiology is multifunctional and includes a combination of genetic, epigenetic, immunological and environmental factors. In AIDs, several epigenetic mechanisms are defective including DNA demethylation, abnormal chromatin positioning associated with autoantibody production and abnormalities in the expression of RNA interference (RNAi). It is known that environmental factors may interfere with DNA methylation and histone modifications, however, little is known about epigenetic changes derived of regulation of RNAi. An approach to the known environmental factors and the mechanisms that alter the epigenetic regulation in AIDs (with emphasis in systemic lupus erythematosus, the prototype of systemic AID) are showed in this review. PMID:26369426

  2. Lung cancer and its association with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: update on nexus of epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Sundar, Isaac K.; Mullapudi, Nandita; Yao, Hongwei; Spivack, Simon D.; Rahman, Irfan

    2013-01-01

    Purpose of review Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The current research is focused on identifying the common and disparate events involved in epigenetic modifications that concurrently occur during the pathogenesis of COPD and lung cancer. The purpose of this review is to describe the current knowledge and understanding of epigenetic modifications in pathogenesis of COPD and lung cancer. Recent findings This review provides an update on advances of how epigenetic modifications are linked to COPD and lung cancer, and their commonalities and disparities. The key epigenetic modification enzymes (e.g. DNA methyltransferases – CpG methylation, histone acetylases/deacetylases and histone methyltransferases/demethylases) that are identified to play an important role in COPD and lung tumorigenesis and progression are described in this review. Summary Distinct DNA methyltransferases and histone modification enzymes are differentially involved in pathogenesis of lung cancer and COPD, although some of the modifications are common. Understanding the epigenetic modifications involved in pathogenesis of lung cancer or COPD with respect to common and disparate mechanisms will lead to targeting of epigenetic therapies against these disorders. PMID:21537190

  3. Epigenetic coordination of signaling pathways during the epithelial-mesenchymal transition

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a de-differentiation process required for wound healing and development. In tumors of epithelial origin aberrant induction of EMT contributes to cancer progression and metastasis. Studies have begun to implicate epigenetic reprogramming in EMT; however, the relationship between reprogramming and the coordination of cellular processes is largely unexplored. We have previously developed a system to study EMT in a canonical non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) model. In this system we have shown that the induction of EMT results in constitutive NF-κB activity. We hypothesized a role for chromatin remodeling in the sustained deregulation of cellular signaling pathways. Results We mapped sixteen histone modifications and two variants for epithelial and mesenchymal states. Combinatorial patterns of epigenetic changes were quantified at gene and enhancer loci. We found a distinct chromatin signature among genes in well-established EMT pathways. Strikingly, these genes are only a small minority of those that are differentially expressed. At putative enhancers o