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Cognitive decline in the brain

Don’t forget about Dnmt’s

There is not a lot of knowledge about the enzymes that influence the molecular pathways underlying the normal aging process. A recent publication in Nature Neuroscience showed that the DNA methyltransferase Dnmt3a2 is critically involved in age-associated cognitive decline in mice. Oliveira et al.  found that up regulating Dnmt3a2 can …

Stem Cell Cultures

Differing culture conditions can lead to both reversible and irreversible changes in DNA methylation.

Investigation into the mechanisms of pluripotency in stem cells and their potential applications is ongoing.  It is of utmost importance that these cells be propagated stably, both for the consistency of data within the scientific community and then also for potential clinical applications.  How do culture conditions impact methylation and …

Mouse embryonic stem cells

How is DNA Methylation Maintained in ESCs and Differentiated Cells?

DNA methylation has been shown to be very important for development, differentiation, and aging.  But how is DNA methylation maintained?  When and how does de novo DNA methylation occur?  Are there specific DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts) involved in non-symmetric DNA methylation or DNA methylation outside of the CpG context?  There have …

5mC and 5hmC

Maternal instincts: Protection of 5mC?

DNA modification by 5-methylcytosine (5mC) was the only recognized DNA modification for many years in mammals and 5mC plays important roles in cell differentiation and development. Recently, a novel 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) DNA modification has been reported and the balance between 5mC and 5hmC in the genome is a critical step …


Epigenetic Regulation is Involved in Host Antiviral Defense Mechanisms

Influenza is the virus that causes the flu, and can result in serious, sometimes fatal infections.  Influenza virus is easily transmitted within a population raising concerns of it causing an epidemic, or worse, a pandemic.  In recent years, the highly pathogenic H5N1 and H1N1 viruses have caused thousands of deaths …

DNA methylation & histone modification

Analyzing two epigenetic marks (DNA methylation and histone modification) by one sequencing run

Epigenetic regulation is a complicated network involving DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs, which all play in concert to control the epigenetic machinery. The cross talk between DNA methylation and histone modification is one of the most important interactions in establishing the epigenetic signature and was traditionally studied using …


Does Epigenetics Control Aging? New study finds DNA methylation patterns change with age

Aging is a natural part of life, but many of the molecular details that contribute to the aging process remain unclear and cannot be explained by classical genetics.  There are several age-related DNA methylation biomarkers, suggesting that epigenetics is involved in aging, but until recently there has not been a …


Prediction of polyadenylation site usage from epigenetic modifications

In this computational study, the authors explore several links between epigenetic factors (including DNA methylation, nucleosomal association, and histone modifications) and the usage of polyadenylation (poly(A)) sites in transcribed messages.