The “neighborhood effect” in chromatin biology: TET proteins-mediated DNA demethylation reconfigures the “histone code” at CpG islands
DNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationHistone Modifications

The “neighborhood effect” in chromatin biology: TET proteins-mediated DNA demethylation reconfigures the “histone code” at CpG islands

A nucleosome is constituted by positively charged histone proteins and negatively charged DNA. Methylation as well as other covalent modifications on DNA and histones ( together also called epigenetic modifications or marks) play important roles in the regulation of chromatin structure and function. TET (Ten-Eleven Translocation) proteins were identified as …

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Epigenetics and PTSD
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

Connecting Epigenetics and Memory to PTSD

1 in 5.  That is the statistic for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans that have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to the Department of Veteran Affairs. PTSD is a severe psychological condition that can develop after witnessing traumatic events, and its symptoms include disturbing flashbacks, anxiety, distress, …

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DNA Methylation and Immune Cell Differentiation
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDevelopmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

DNA Methylation Regulates Differentiation of Naive Immune Cells into Effector Cells

During an adaptive immune response, naive CD8 T cells differentiate into antigen-specific effector cells that release cytotoxic proteins and rapidly proliferate to kill infected cells. When the pathogen has cleared, the majority of effector cells undergo apoptosis while a selected pool becomes memory cells. The differentiation process from naive to …

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Erasing Breast Cancer
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationRegulatory RNA

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 …

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5-hmC apple
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDevelopmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

An Apple a Day Keeps the DNA Methylation Away! Vitamin C and DNA Demethylation in Mouse ES Cells

DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is essential for normal development and also plays important roles in diverse cellular functions, such as genomic imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation, suppression of repetitive DNA elements, carcinogenesis, and other human diseases. In the last few years, scientists have focused on better understanding the process …

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5hmc
Developmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

Starting from Scratch: DNA Methylation Marks Erased Through 5-hmC in Primordial Germ Cells

A growing body of evidence indicates that ancestral environmental factors can influence the physiology and behavior of the offspring, a process known as epigenetic inheritance. However, in each generation the epigenetically inherited modifications are thought to be erased in cells called primordial germ cells (PGCs), the precursors to sperm and …

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20120814
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

AID/APOBEC – Unlikely Contenders for Primary DNA Demethylation Pathway.

Over the past couple of years, extensive efforts have been made to elucidate the 5-methylcytosine demethylation pathway. Two distinctly different families of enzymes were implicated as the most likely candidates.  The TET (ten-eleven translocation) family of α-ketoglutarate-dependent deoxygenases consists of enzymes which iteratively oxidize 5-methylcytosine to 5-carboxylcytosine, and represents one …

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