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Mapping the Chromatin Landscape of Cancers

Mapping the Chromatin Landscape of Cancers

A betrayal of our own cells against us, cancer is a devastating disease that affects over 18 million people world-wide [1]. With more than 200 different types of cancer, most with diverse modes of action and variable outcomes among people, a deeper understanding of how different cancers function and progress …

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Aging Promotes Tissue Regeneration and Less Scar Formation

Aging Promotes Tissue Regeneration and Less Scar Formation

If Harry Potter had been older during his confrontation with Voldemort, he may not have even gotten his famous scar. Dermatologists have long noted that skin wounds in elderly patients tend to heal with less scarring than those in younger patients [1]. Recent work from Nishiguchi et al shows that …

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Chaperoning Histone Inheritance

Chaperoning Histone Inheritance

One of the great mysteries of epigenetics is how histones, the eponymous beads on a DNA string, are divided onto newly synthesized DNA strands during cell division. Histones carry modifications that serve as important signals in determining gene expression, regulating developmental programs, and their alteration can even mark disease states …

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Potential Treatment for Rett Syndrome Through Maintenance of X-inactivation

Maintenance of X-inactivation: A Step Towards a Potential Treatment for Rett Syndrome

Not only do the brown and black splotches of fur on calico cats make them pretty cute, they also reflect a moment early in mammalian development called X-chromosome inactivation. While females have two X-chromosomes, males only have one, so to ensure that the expression of genes on the X-chromosome is …

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Acetylation in Alzheimer's disease

Dysregulation of Histone Acetylation in Alzheimer’s Disease

In Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology, neuronal histone acetylation is reduced at memory-related genes [1]. Nativio et al specifically researched H4K16ac, a regulator of chromatin compaction, because it plays an important role in cellular aging and senescence [2]. By comparing the genome-wide profiles of H4K16ac in brain tissues from AD patients …

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DNMT3

Choosy DNA Methyltransferases Choose CpG-Dense Regions

While changes in DNA methylation have been implicated in a variety of diseases, there is still much to learn about the cellular regulation of DNA methylation patterns across the genome. De novo methyltransferases DNMT3A and B are known to establish DNA methylation. In a recent paper, Baubec et al. investigated …

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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 …

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Of Mice and Men: The Evolution of Cis-Regulatory Elements

DNase Hypersenestive sites (DHSs) are regions within the genome that are susceptible to cleavage by the enzyme DNase I. These regions are susceptible because they lie in uncondensed regions of euchromatin and are readily accessible to the DNase enzyme. In vivo however, these regions are also accessible to regulatory proteins …

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