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Plastics and the Epigenome

In recent years, there has been growing concern regarding the negative effects of compounds found in plastic products. BPA, the most widely publicized, is only one of many compounds, known to be endocrine disruptors, which are used in plastics. Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals has been linked to many diseases …

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microRNAs are important players at the intersection of stromal cell differentiation fate

Alessandra Rossini1, Viviana Meraviglia1, Gualtiero Colombo2 1 Center for Biomedicine, European Academy Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC) (affiliated Institute of the University of Lübeck), Bolzano Italy 2 Laboratory of Immunology and Functional Genomics, Centro Cardiologico Monzino IRCCS, Milano, Italy   In a previous work, we have characterized a randomly selected population of adult …

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3D Chromatin Organization, Transcription, and Behavior

The chromosomes of differentiated cells contain heterochromatic and euchromatic compartments. Heterochromatin is highly condensed and associated with repressed transcription, whereas in euchromatin  transcription is generally active. Spatial organization of heterochromatin can vary vastly among different differentiated cell types1. In contrast to differentiated cells, embryonic stem cells contain only sparse heterochromatic …

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Prenatal exposure to mixtures of xenoestrogens and repetitive element

Prenatal exposure to mixtures of xenoestrogens & repetitive element-DNA methylation changes in human placenta

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) are molecules that are able to interact with the endocrine system of different species, including humans,  leading to hormonal dysregulation and potentially be involved in the occurrence of diseases that are increasing in prevalence such as cancer, childhood obesity, fertility problems and neurobehavioral abnormalities (Diamanti-Kandarakis et …

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The Mysterious Role of non-CpG Methylation in the Brain

The Mysterious Role of non-CpG Methylation in the Brain

DNA methylation is a key mechanism of epigenetic regulation of gene expression and contributes to a multitude of process such as embryonic development, cancer, aging and learning and memory. In the metazoan genome, CpG methylation is the primary form of DNA methylation and is therefore extensively studied. However, key questions …

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Seasons influence the methylation profiles of newborns: more evidence that mom’s diet during pregnancy has lasting effects in her offspring.

Metastable epialleles (ME) are gene alleles that are differentially expressed through epigenetic regulatory mechanisms. The DNA methylation status of an ME is established during embryonic development, and can be maintained later into life. The differential methylation of these MEs contribute to phenotypic diversity between individuals and provides an explanation for …

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The Y chromosome has genome-wide influences over chromatin structure and gene regulation

The Y chromosome has genome-wide influences over chromatin structure and gene regulation

In mammals, the Y chromosome is responsible for determining the male sex by initiating the development of male-specific gonad tissues. Hormones, produced and secreted by the sex organs, are vital for initiating and maintaining sexual dimorphisms. However, differences seen between the sexes are not solely derived from hormones. In fact, …

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Mitochondria Bioenergetics

The Mitochondrial Epigenetics Revolution: A New Avenue for Potential Research

The mitochondria, often referred to as the “power-house” of the cell, provide a platform for energy production through glucose metabolism. As a bi-product of this, they also are the major producer of reactive oxidative species. Mitochondria also play other important physiological roles, such as calcium homeostasis and aid in the …

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