5-Formlycytosine (5fC): A new base?
Developmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

5-Formlycytosine (5fC): A new base?

DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation are well-established key players in gene regulation. Although many would agree that 5hmC also plays a critical role, there is still some debate over whether it serves a functional role, or is merely an artifact of DNA de-methylation. Even still, other intermediates of de-methylation are actively …

READ MORE →
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 …

READ MORE →
Expanding the RNA alphabet
Regulatory RNA

The Expanding RNA Alphabet – Hydroxymethylation in RNA

Benjamin Delatte & François Fuks Contacts: B. Delatte (benche65@gmail.com), F. Fuks (ffuks@ulb.ac.be). Epigenetic studies have explored DNA modifications in relation to key biological processes such as gene expression, parasitic elements silencing, or genome stability. Of these, methylation of the 5th carbon of cytosine (referred here as 5mC) has been extensively …

READ MORE →
Autism Awareness Month
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

April is Autism Awareness Month: Increased levels of 5-hmC may influence gene regulation in Autism Spectrum Disorder

The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased by roughly 30% since 2012. The CDC recently reported that one in 68 children in the United States is affected by ASD, compared to one in 88 just two years ago. This enhanced occurrence could be attributed to advancements in the …

READ MORE →
Epigenetics, 5-hmC, and osteoarthritis
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

5-hmC Leading the Pain in Osteoarthritis

Over 27 million Americans are estimated to be living with osteoarthritis (OA), a debilitating joint disorder that results from continual loss of cartilage that cushions the bones. OA is accompanied by increased levels of the cytokines Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in cartilage cells called chondrocytes. These …

READ MORE →
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, …

READ MORE →
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 …

READ MORE →
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 …

READ MORE →