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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 …

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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 …

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The Epigenetics of Stroke

Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States, taking 130,000 lives each year as well as incurring $36.5 billion combined costs of medical expenses and lost productivity. Advanced age is a risk factor for stroke. 66% of patients hospitalized due to stroke are over 65 years …

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Dopamine signaling leads to loss of polycomb repression and aberrant gene activation in experimental parkinsonism

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most frequent neurodegenerative disease, affecting 1-2% of the population over 55 years of age. The main pathological feature of PD is the progressive death of neurons located in the midbrain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine.  These neurons modulate the activity of a collection of …

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Artificial Transcription Factors – A new class of epigenetic drug

Aberrant epigenetic status resulting in dysregulation of gene expression is a hallmark of many cancers and other diseases. In the last decade, countless time and energy has been spent in efforts to develop drugs targeting DNA methylation and histone modifications. To date however, none of these epigenetic drugs are sequence …

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The Role of Epigenetics in Cognitive Ageing

Dr. Karen Mather, Genetics & Genomics Group Leader at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW Australia As we age, there is a decline in cognitive performance but there is great variability in the rate and degree of cognitive ageing observed across older adults.  The domains of information processing …

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Oxidative Stress and Epigenetics: a Novel Link Established Through Histone Adduction

Oxidative Stress and Epigenetics: a Novel Link Established Through Histone Adduction

Damage to cellular macromolecules caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced during oxidative stress contributes to the pathogenesis of many disease states. One target of ROS is the 1,4-diene structure of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which is highly susceptible to peroxidation. An important outcome of lipid peroxidation is the generation …

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Gene Transcription: Not Always Dictated by Histone Modifications!

The proper regulation of gene expression is of fundamental importance in the maintenance of normal growth and development.  Misregulation of genes can lead to such outcomes as cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease.  A key step in gene regulation occurs during the transcription of the chromosomal DNA into messenger RNA by …

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