Human epigenomics explained in new textbook

February 19, 2018, University of Eastern Finland

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland have published a textbook on human epigenomics, the study of epigenetic modifications across the entire genome. The book is the first of its kind to focus on epigenomics in humans and its role in health and disease.

Epigenetics is the study of gene regulation and information storing mechanisms not involving any changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetics is closely related to the extensively folded state in which the genome is packaged, known as chromatin. New genomic tools allow the genome-wide assessment of chromatin states and DNA modifications, among other things. This has led to the emergence of epigenomics and unexpected new epigenetic principles, such as epigenomic memory.

Authored by Professor Carsten Carlberg and Dr Ferdinand Molnár, the Springer textbook Human Epigenomics summarizes the role of epigenomics in defining chromatin states, euchromatin and heterochromatin, respectively representative of active and repressed genes. Moreover, the book discusses the principles of gene regulation, chromatin stability, genomic imprinting and the reversibility of DNA methylation and histone modifications. Different sections of the book focus on the molecular basis of epigenomics and provide examples for the impact of epigenomics in human health and disease.

"This information should enable a better understanding of cell type identities and will provide new directions for studies of cellular reprogramming, the response of chromatin to environmental signals and epigenetic therapies that can improve or restore . In order to facilitate the latter, we favored a high figure-to-text ratio following the rule 'a picture tells more than thousand words,'" the authors say.

Besides its value as a textbook, Human Epigenomics is a useful reference for individuals working in biomedicine. The contents are based on the second half of Professor Carlberg's lecture course "Molecular Medicine and Genetics," primarily designed for MSc and Ph.D. students in biomedicine. The first half of the course was covered by the textbook Mechanisms of Gene Regulation from the same authors. They have also co-authored a third Springer textbook called Nutrigenomics. Carsten Carlberg is Professor of biochemistry at the School of Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland. His main research interest is the (epi)genomics of nuclear receptors and their ligands, with special focus on vitamin D. He has given yearly courses on epigenetics and since 2001.

Dr. Ferdinand Molnár is Project researcher at the School of Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland. His main research interest is the molecular structure of nuclear receptor proteins and their natural and synthetic ligands.

Explore further: Can the study of epigenomics lead to personalized cancer treatment?

More information: Carlberg, Carsten, Molnar, Ferdinand. Human Epigenomics. Springer 2018. www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811076138

Related Stories

Can the study of epigenomics lead to personalized cancer treatment?

April 4, 2017
Molecular insight into our own DNA is now possible, a field called personal genomics. Such approaches can let us know when we might have cancer-causing alterations in our genes. Well-known examples are the melanoma oncogene ...

New research shows how metabolism and epigenetics play a role in cancer development

March 24, 2017
A study published in Briefings in Functional Genomics investigated how epigenetics can modulate human's genetic program—it can emphasize or silence genes. The new research shows that if epigenetics is disrupted, it might ...

Recommended for you

Researchers identify new genetic disorder

September 21, 2018
Researchers from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and physicians from Spectrum Health have identified for the first time in a human patient a genetic disorder only previously described in animal models.

Test could detect patients at risk from lethal fungal spores

September 20, 2018
Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered a genetic mutation in humans linked to a 17-fold increase in the amount of dangerous fungal spores in the lungs.

Researchers identify a new cause of childhood mitochondrial disease

September 20, 2018
A rapid genetic test developed by Newcastle researchers has identified the first patients with inherited mutations in a new disease gene.

Why some human genes are more popular with researchers than others

September 18, 2018
Historical bias is a key reason why biomedical researchers continue to study the same 10 percent of all human genes while ignoring many genes known to play roles in disease, according to a study publishing September 18 in ...

Class of neurological disorders share 3-D genome folding pattern, study finds

September 18, 2018
In a class of roughly 30 neurological disorders that includes ALS, Huntington's Disease and Fragile X Syndrome, the relevant mutant gene features sections of repeating base pair sequences known as short tandem repeats, or ...

Researchers resolve decades-old mystery about the most commonly mutated gene in cancer

September 18, 2018
The most commonly mutated gene in cancer has tantalized scientists for decades about the message of its mutations. Although mutations can occur at more than 1,100 sites within the TP53 gene, they arise with greatest frequency ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.