articles on research on the effects of inflammation on epigenetic changes
Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve changes in the DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms play important roles in development from a fertilized egg into a complex human being, as well as in aging and in various diseases (including cancer). Study topics such as DNA methylation, histone modification, RNAi, cancer epigenetics, stem cells and the environment (for example, nutrition and stress) as potential modifiers of the human epigenome.
http://www.news-medi...f-Medicine.aspx Please can you give a brief introduction to epigenetics?
Epigenetics refers to processes of inheritance that are not directly dependent on DNA sequences and mutations, such as the mechanisms that cause children born to metabolically stressed mothers to develop metabolic disease when the children reach adulthood.
Epigenetics can also refer to the interactions of proteins with chromatin, the packaging material of DNA; these interactions also do not depend directly on the DNA sequences, but on the nature of the packaging material itself. DNA sequencing and human genomic information can tell us almost nothing about an epigenetic process.How can genetically identical cells express their genes differently without DNA sequence changes?
The controlling regions of genes, called ‘promoters’ or ‘enhancers’ are packaged into chromatin, which can be permanently marked by epigenetic ‘writer’ enzymes, such as histone acetylases, and read in daughter cells by ‘reader’ proteins, such as bromodomain proteins. These marks can dramatically affect gene expression in otherwise genetically identical cells.
DNA itself can be marked by epigenetic writer enzymes, such as DNA methylases, and read by yet other proteins to change gene expression. Yet in none of these cases has the DNA been mutated or the genetic sequences altered; so that daughter cells can have very different gene expression, yet be genetically identical. .... info in study on mice that indicate its chronic inflammation not obesity that lead to diabetes.......then...How important do you think the study of epigenetics will be in the future of medicine?
Epigenetics is a critical new area of research. The Dutch ‘Hunger Winter’ of 1944 – 1945 taught us about the importance and long-lasting impact of maternal starvation, which apparently transmitted cardiometabolic risk epigenetically from the deprived, pregnant mothers to their unborn children.
New research with rodent models is showing us that inflammation in the uterine environment can epigenetically reprogram the young into unhealthy metabolic patterns after birth. Therefore, proper support for maternal health and metabolism will be shown to matter all the more, and we may be able to define specific steps to protect the fetus.
Best of all, we may be able to develop epigenetic drugs that will ultimately be useful to correct these epigenetically transmitted diseases. Until then, there is no cure for the adult children of the Dutch ‘Hunger Winter’ mothers, or patients like them.
Edited by alternativista, 25 June 2013 - 11:46 AM.