Epigenetics, 5-hmC, and osteoarthritis
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

5-hmC Leading the Pain in Osteoarthritis

Over 27 million Americans are estimated to be living with osteoarthritis (OA), a debilitating joint disorder that results from continual loss of cartilage that cushions the bones. OA is accompanied by increased levels of the cytokines Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in cartilage cells called chondrocytes. These …

DNA Methylation and Immune Cell Differentiation
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDevelopmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

DNA Methylation Regulates Differentiation of Naive Immune Cells into Effector Cells

During an adaptive immune response, naive CD8 T cells differentiate into antigen-specific effector cells that release cytotoxic proteins and rapidly proliferate to kill infected cells. When the pathogen has cleared, the majority of effector cells undergo apoptosis while a selected pool becomes memory cells. The differentiation process from naive to …

Aging, Environment, & DiseaseHistone Modifications

Epigenetics of Cocaine Addiction: Your Brain on Drugs

The dramatic behavioral changes induced by cocaine, such as hyperactivity, are accompanied by post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histones. These modifications result in altered gene expression in the area of the brain known as the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which is associated with pleasure. Past research pointed to the use of histone …

Developmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

To Nurse or To Forage? DNA Methylation Defines Honeybee Behavior

A honeybee society is organized into distinct castes, where a male embryo becomes a drone and a female embryo can develop into a queen or worker. While a queen’s role is to reproduce, the behavior of a worker varies throughout its lifetime. A worker’s first role is to act as …