News tagged with epigenetics

Related topics: genes · gene expression · dna sequences · dna methylation

When food alters gene function

As the study shows, a high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation leads to epigenetic changes in the offspring. These changes affect metabolic pathways regulated by the gut hormone GIP, whereby the adult offspring are more ...

Feb 01, 2016
popularity1 comments 0

How obesity makes memory go bad

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers are probing how obesity makes memory goes bad, and the underlying molecular mechanism that drives this decline.

Jan 29, 2016
popularity168 comments 0

Mom's in control—even before you're born

Researchers have uncovered previously unappreciated means by which epigenetic information contained in the egg influences the development of the placenta during pregnancy. The research, which was performed in mice, indicates ...

Jan 25, 2016
popularity202 comments 0

Lifetime stress accelerates epigenetic aging

An important risk factor for accelerated aging and age-related diseases is excessive or chronic stress. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich have now found how psychological stress, which accumulates ...

Dec 22, 2015
popularity41 comments 0

New insights into the molecular basis of memory

Scientists from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases have shed new light on the molecular basis of memory. Their study confirms that the formation of memories is accompanied by an altered activity of specific ...

Dec 18, 2015
popularity160 comments 0

Epigenetics

In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – hence the name epi- (Greek: επί- over, above, outer) -genetics. Examples of such changes might be DNA methylation or histone deacetylation, both of which serve to suppress gene expression without altering the sequence of the silenced genes. In 2011, it was demonstrated that the methylation of mRNA has a critical role in human energy homeostasis. This opened the field of RNA epigenetics.

These changes may remain through cell divisions for the remainder of the cell's life and may also last for multiple generations. However, there is no change in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism; instead, non-genetic factors cause the organism's genes to behave (or "express themselves") differently.

One example of epigenetic changes in eukaryotic biology is the process of cellular differentiation. During morphogenesis, totipotent stem cells become the various pluripotent cell lines of the embryo which in turn become fully differentiated cells. In other words, a single fertilized egg cell – the zygote – changes into the many cell types including neurons, muscle cells, epithelium, endothelium of blood vessels etc. as it continues to divide. It does so by activating some genes while inhibiting others.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

Subscribe to rss feed