Tools & Technology

Epigenome Editing with CRISPR-dCas9, TALEs, and Zinc Fingers

With a reference epigenome on the horizon it has become apparent that an enormous amount of variation, both inherited and environmental, is responsible for the development of complex traits and diseases. While a catalogue of such alterations is invaluable to humanity, perhaps more valuable would be the ability to alter …

Chromatin Structure

CTCF Tucks Genes Into Their Lamina Associated Beds

The circadian rhythm allows cells to synchronize across a 24-hour clock. When the clock is disrupted individuals become predisposed to complex diseases like cancer, psychiatric disorders, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. During the ticking of the clock oscillations in the expression of a number of genes, for instance those involved in …

Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDevelopmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationTools & Technology

Using Saliva to Measure the Brain: Translating A Salivary Diagnostic for Fetal Alcohol Exposure

The consumption of any amount of alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD is an umbrella term covering a wide range of exposures from prenatal alcohol exposure, with the most severe outcome termed Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). However, the spectrum is wide and with no lower …

Regulatory RNA

The Brain’s Circular RNAs

Circular RNA (circRNA) has emerged as the latest large class of animal RNA. The circular structure creates a higher level of RNA stability, which has lead to the suspicion that circRNAs take on different functions than their linear counterparts. One pioneering example is the function as a miRNA sponge, where …

DNMT3 is an enzyme from a group of DNA methlytransferases, which modify DNA in order to regulate gene expression and activity.
DNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationImprinting and Inheritance

De Novo DNA Cytosine Methyltransferase Enzyme Dynamics

The DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) are one busy enzyme family! While they are responsible for establishing and maintaining the mammalian cytosine methylome, they aren’t one and the same, as they take on some diverse roles. The DNMTs can from complexes with more than one DNMT to accomplish additional functions and their …

Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

DNA Methylation Helps Muscles Remember

Exercise is an adaptive process. Short-term skeletal muscle exercise results in alterations in activation of energy producing pathways and insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to rapidly respond to an environmental challenge. If only a single exercise session is done, then these changes are largely at the protein level and dissipate …