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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 …

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 …

5-methylcytosine (5-mC) in RNA

5-Methylcytosine in RNA is More Common and Widespread than Previously Known!

The existence of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) in nucleic acid has been known for more than 50 years, and the majority of research in the past has focused on 5-mC in DNA. However, 5-mC is also present in RNA and interest in this RNA modification has been increasing in recent years. To …

RNA methylation kit

New Kit Available to Study RNA Methylation

While the presence of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) in RNA has been known for some time, the lack of methods available to study this epigenetic modification has made it challenging to elucidate its function. However, the new EZ RNA Methylation Kit from Zymo Research changes everything.  The EZ RNA Methylation Kit is …

NSun2 and RNA methylation

More Methylation in RNA!?! RNA Continues to Surprise…

While DNA methylation is an extensively-studied epigenetic modification, relatively little is known about the methylation of cytosine bases in RNA.  Although the functional consequences of RNA modifications are not clear, RNA molecules are known to be extensively modified.  In fact, there are over 100 reported modifications to RNA, which is …

Erasing Breast Cancer

Erasing Breast Cancer: miRNAs and Epigenetic Factors Play Key Roles in Aggressive Breast Cancer Mechanisms

Cancer research is perhaps the poster child for the importance of integrating epigenetic analyses into a disease model. As research in the epigenetics of cancer continues to grow, relationships between myriad epigenetic regulators can become quite clear. In a recent study by Pier Paolo Pandolfi and colleagues, epigenetic players including …


Old Dog, New Tricks? Cytosine Methylation in Long Non-Coding RNAs

Cytosine methylation (5-mC) in DNA is very common, and is generally associated with repression of gene expression.  DNA methylation was the first discovered type of epigenetic modification and remains one of the most actively investigated epigenetic processes, especially with respect to its use as a valuable biomarker for cancer and …

Keystone image

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. …