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Epigenetics of Cocaine Addiction: Your Brain on Drugs

The dramatic behavioral changes induced by cocaine, such as hyperactivity, are accompanied by post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histones. These modifications result in altered gene expression in the area of the brain known as the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which is associated with pleasure. Past research pointed to the use of histone …

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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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Teamwork in silencing: histone modifications and DNA methylation

Histone tails that are exposed at the nucleosomal surface are targets for a multitude of covalent modifications, such as acetylation, methylation, and phosphorylation. These post-translational modifications have been shown to function as a ‘histone code’ that coordinates the recruitment of effector proteins and regulates chromatin structure, gene expression, and genome …

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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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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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Discovery of the first chemical inhibitor of histone demethylation

The study of post-translational modification of histone tails represents one of the largest areas of research in the field of epigenetics.  An improved understanding of how these modifications are added, recognized, and removed is essential to understand the mechanisms underlying epigenetic-based human diseases and to allow for the discovery of …

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Analyzing two epigenetic marks (DNA methylation and histone modification) by one sequencing run

Epigenetic regulation is a complicated network involving DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs, which all play in concert to control the epigenetic machinery. The cross talk between DNA methylation and histone modification is one of the most important interactions in establishing the epigenetic signature and was traditionally studied using …

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