Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationTools & Technology

A new web-based tool for high-throughput DNA methylation pathway analysis of multiple cancer types

Global cytosine hypomethylation and promoter hypermethylation are characteristic in cancer, but how DNA methylation targets biological pathways and gene sets is unclear. It is hypothesized that during tumorigenesis certain pathways and gene sets are commonly dysregulated via DNA methylation across cancer types. A logistic regression-based gene set enrichment method called …

Chromatin StructureHistone Modifications

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, …

Chromatin StructureDevelopmental Biology & Stem CellsRegulatory RNA

Role Reversal: Are Transcription Factors Responsible for Heterochromatin Formation?

Regions of eukaryotic chromosomes are classified into two distinct groups: euchromatin, which is generally less compacted and contains actively transcribed genes, and heterochromatin, which is typically more compacted and contains silent genes and the majority of the repeated DNA elements.  Transcription factors are generally thought of as proteins that are …

Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

Does Epigenetics Control Aging? New study finds DNA methylation patterns change with age

Aging is a natural part of life, but many of the molecular details that contribute to the aging process remain unclear and cannot be explained by classical genetics.  There are several age-related DNA methylation biomarkers, suggesting that epigenetics is involved in aging, but until recently there has not been a …

Skeletal muscles affected by FSHD
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseRegulatory RNA

Epigenetic regulation of a non-coding RNA implicated in FSHD pathogenesis

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a common and debilitating myopathy very frequently associated with decreased D4Z4 repetitive element copy number at chromosome 4q35. The exact molecular mechanism driving FSHD is unknown, however, epigenetic dysregulation is suspected to be a major contributing factor.