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A Consistent Signature of Histone Deacetylation in Huntington’s Disease?

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects 5 to 10 people per 100,000 inhabitants. Despite the identification of the primary cause of the disease 20 years ago (an aberrant expansion of trinucleotide CAG repeats in the exon 1 of the huntingtin gene), there is still no effective …

Cancer heterogeneity

A Mechanism of Cancer Heterogeneity Originated from Epigenetics and Microevironments

Cancer is a deadly disease that we are still fighting despite nearly 50 years of worldwide scientific efforts. In order to have a better understanding of cancer, we need to explore the underlying mechanisms of the cancer cells themselves. It was once believed that the major cause of the cancer …


EZH2: A New Biomarker and Epigenetic Target for Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma (RB) is the most common primary eye cancer in children, the third most common cancer in infants younger than 1 year and accounts for 12% of all infantile cancers per year. RB can be blinding and lethal, and is caused by mutations in the tumor suppressor gene RB1. However, current …


Epigenetics, Aging, and Neurodegeneration

Roy Lardenoije, Daniël van den Hove, and Bart Rutten Epigenetics is a booming, but highly complex and rapidly evolving field. Apart from the well-studied regulatory mechanisms involving DNA and histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs, there are the more recent additions of RNA methylation and editing, and reports of epigenetic regulation …

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Epigenetic Basis of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse disorders are psychiatric disorders illnesses that impact patients severely in several biopsychosocial spheres. The criteria for the diagnosis of amphetamine and methamphetamine use disorders  include compulsive abuse of these substances despite adverse medicolegal consequences. Research on the basic neurobiology of these human disorders has focused on the use …


The epigenome mapped in more than 100 tissues and cell types

A consortium of researchers published a description of 111 epigenetic maps produced as part of the Roadmap Epigenomics Program. A useful tool for understanding epigenetic changes associated with several conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancers or autoimmune disorders. In the body, most of the cells have identical genomes. But the …


Histone Cleavage Can Interfere with the Measurement of Downstream Modifications

Histone modifications are increasingly being used as biomarkers in molecular epidemiology studies. However, a recent report from researchers at Columbia University describes a distinct histone H3 cleavage product, identified by Western blot, in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), which interferes with the measurement of certain histone modifications (Howe and …


Mitochondrial epigenetics: Effects beyond the nuclear genome

  From playing a role in heritable changes to somatic mutations, including associations with diet, exercise, and other lifestyle interventions, epigenetics is progressively becoming implicated in a wide variety of activities and diseases. While the role of epigenetics has been predominately thought of in terms of genomic DNA, a clear …