Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

A new breakthrough in developing effective antimalarial drugs

Parasites in the genus Plasmodium, which cause malaria, are transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes. The parasites acclimatize to these two completely different hosts because the plasticity of their genome ...

Genetics

Form of severe malnutrition linked to DNA modification

A group led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine has identified significant differences at the epigenetic level—the chemical tags in DNA that help regulate gene expression—between two clinically distinct forms ...

Oncology & Cancer

Modulation of proliferation factors in lung adenocarcinoma

A recent study published in Oncotarget found molecular subtypes based on copy number, DNA methylation, and mRNA expression had variable proliferation levels, the highest correlating with decreased survival.

Medical research

Scientists create 'epigenetic couch potato' mouse

Why is it that some people love to exercise, and others hate it? Most people would assume it's all due to genetics, but a new Baylor College of Medicine led study in mice shows for the first time that a different molecular ...

Oncology & Cancer

DNA fracturing rewires gene control in cancer

Understanding the mechanisms that mediate widespread DNA damage in the cancer genome is of great interest to cancer physicians and scientists because it may lead to improved treatments and diagnosis. In this study, a multi-institutional ...

Oncology & Cancer

Clues from DNA could predict growth of prostate cancer

Researchers from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and other institutions in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Singapore, have identified 1,178 biomarkers in men's genomes—the complete set of genetic material ...

Oncology & Cancer

New blood test capable of detecting multiple types of cancer

A new blood test in development has shown ability to screen for numerous types of cancer with a high degree of accuracy, a trial of the test shows. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators will present the results of the ...

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DNA methylation

DNA methylation is a type of chemical modification of DNA that can be inherited and subsequently removed without changing the original DNA sequence. As such, it is part of the epigenetic code and is also the best characterized epigenetic mechanism. Because methylation is a common capability of all viruses for self non-self identification, the epigenetic code could be a persistent remnant of ancient viral infection events.

DNA methylation involves the addition of a methyl group to DNA — for example, to the number 5 carbon of the cytosine pyrimidine ring — in this case with the specific effect of reducing gene expression. DNA methylation at the 5 position of cytosine has been found in every vertebrate examined. In adult somatic tissues, DNA methylation typically occurs in a CpG dinucleotide context; non-CpG methylation is prevalent in embryonic stem cells.

In plants, cytosines are methylated both symmetrically (CpG or CpNpG) and asymmetrically (CpNpNp), where N can be any nucleotide but guanine.

Research has suggested that long term memory storage in humans may be regulated by DNA methylation.

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