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Summary of Keystone Symposium: Epigenetic Marks and Cancer Drugs

In order for each of the cells of our bodies to stay healthy, gene expression must be controlled in a tightly regulated fashion. DNA is packaged around histone proteins, and a diverse set of enzymes are responsible for adding or removing specific post-translational modifications, or epigenetic marks, to histone tails. …

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Dietary Epigenetics, Chemoprevention, and Green Tea Cupcakes

EpiBeat is excited to have Nikki write this guest post for us!  Nikki started her blog Scientifically Delicious about a year ago to write about the intersection between two of her passions: science and cooking.  She uses her background in biology to explain recent news and findings about food and …

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Does defective binding of 5-hmC by MeCP2 contribute to Rett syndrome?

DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that plays an important role in gene expression. Aberrant changes of DNA methylation in the genome are associated with many epigenetic-related neurological disorders. However, the mechanism by which DNA methylation affects chromatin structure and gene expression is not completely understood. Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2, (MeCP2), …

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How To Silence Your Neighbor – Tips From A Transposon

Did you know that nearly half of our DNA consists of transposable elements?  Until recently, this was believed to be a product of transposon duplication and random insertion into the genome.  Estécio et al. recently proposed a new model suggesting that the distribution of transposable elements may not be random, …

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Role Reversal: Are Transcription Factors Responsible for Heterochromatin Formation?

Regions of eukaryotic chromosomes are classified into two distinct groups: euchromatin, which is generally less compacted and contains actively transcribed genes, and heterochromatin, which is typically more compacted and contains silent genes and the majority of the repeated DNA elements.  Transcription factors are generally thought of as proteins that are …

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Chromatin Density Matters

Histone methylation mediated by polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is involved in numerous biological processes, including cell differentiation, proliferation, and stem cell plasticity. Enhancer of Zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2), a subunit of PRC2, is a histone methyltransferase that specifically methylates histone H3 on lysine 27 (H3K27) and regulates polycomb gene …

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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.

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