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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An incursion into the epigenetic landscape of our ancestors

An incursion into the epigenetic landscape of our ancestors

Studying the evolution of epigenetic regulation in humans has proved to be quite difficult due to the lack of ancient material. Together in collaboration, stem cell biologist, Eran Meshorer and computational biologist, Liran Carmel were able to circumvent this problem by analyzing the genomes of two archaic humans, a Neanderthal …

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stem cell differentiation, DNA methylation

iPSC Epigenetic Memory: One more Roadblock for Regenerative Medicine?

The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and the creation of clinically relevant cell types derived from them, have been great leaps toward the implementation of stem cell based therapies and disease models. But in recent years, concerns have risen about iPSCs “remembering” their original cell types and favoring …

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RNA methylation, stem cell differentiation, and RNA stability

RNA Methylation: The Next Big Thing in Stem Cell Differentiation and RNA Stability

While DNA methylation is probably the longest studied and best understood epigenetic modification, methylation of RNA is gaining increased appreciation, especially recently.  N6-methyladenosine (m6A) in RNA has been observed to be the most frequently occurring epigenetic modification in mRNAs in eukaryotic organisms, but the function of this modification is still …

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Epigenetics, DNA hydroxymethylation, and liver cancer

Somatic Cells Turned Pluripotent by Acid Treatment – Major Breakthrough, Or Too Good To Be True?

The potential use of induced pluripotent stem cells in medicine has the power to completely revolutionize the way physicians treat human diseases.  Imagine the possibility of treating diseased or damaged tissue by taking a patient’s own cells from an unaffected tissue, and turning them into healthy cells to replace the …

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