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The “neighborhood effect” in chromatin biology: TET proteins-mediated DNA demethylation reconfigures the “histone code” at CpG islands

The “neighborhood effect” in chromatin biology: TET proteins-mediated DNA demethylation reconfigures the “histone code” at CpG islands

A nucleosome is constituted by positively charged histone proteins and negatively charged DNA. Methylation as well as other covalent modifications on DNA and histones ( together also called epigenetic modifications or marks) play important roles in the regulation of chromatin structure and function. TET (Ten-Eleven Translocation) proteins were identified as …

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Sex Differences in the zebrafish brain.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea but Only Two Kinds of Brains: Epigenetic Sex differences in Zebrafish Brain

Phenotypic differences between males and females of a species are referred to as sexual dimorphism. Sexual dimorphism manifests not only in morphological traits, but also in physiological and behavioural traits. In organisms that do not have sex chromosomes, males and females are both derived from a nearly identical genome. Such …

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Gene Imprinting

Genomic imprinting – new insight into the methylation patterns of humans

Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic gene-marking phenomenon that is mostly established in germline and results in monoallelic gene expression according to parental origin.1 The process of genomic imprinting is associated with prenatal development providing functions necessary for normal fetal growth. In addition to prenatal expression, postnatal gene imprinting may also …

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Epigenetics link inflammation to type 1 diabetes

Methylation of the insulin gene in response to inflammation in autoimmune Type 1 Diabetes

Joyce Jinxiu Rui and Kevan C. Herold Department of Immunobiology, Department Internal Medicine, Yale University, 300 George St, New Haven, CT 06520, USA Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a type of autoimmune disease caused by immunologic destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Although the exact cause is unknown, …

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sperm epigenetics

Don’t forget all that dad has done for you.. and your epigenome.. this father’s day!

In mammals, the recognition and fusion between the sperm from the father and the oocyte from the mother gives rise to offspring. Therefore, the production of functional, flagella-containing motile sperm is the prerequisite for successful fertilization in nature. In human females, there is typically only one oocyte ovulated during each …

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Diet and Cancer: phytochemicals as epigenetic modifiers

Diet and lifestyle can contribute to cancer development by inducing both epigenetic and genetic changes. These changes, in combination with an individuals’ original genetic make-up, can result in the disruption of key cellular processes leading to abnormal growth.1 Phytochemicals are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants. Dietary phytochemicals have …

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DNA methylation as age prediction marker

Whodunit? Using DNA Methylation in Forensics

For some reason crime scene investigations and murder mysteries seem to fascinate us. So much so, that the countless books and television shows never seem to get old. Like most things on television however, life in a forensics lab is often portrayed to be much more fantastical than real life …

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Imaging technique reveals a unique epigenetic state in mammalian genome

Imaging technique reveals a unique epigenetic state in mammalian genome

Epigenetic modifications are chemical processes that affect gene activity without altering the DNA sequencing. The two major DNA epigenetic modifications in the mammalian genome are 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), which are often referred to as the “fifth base” and “sixth base,” respectively. 5mC is generated by DNA methyltransferase (DNMTs) …

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