'; ?> geneimprint : Hot off the Press http://www.geneimprint.com/site/hot-off-the-press Daily listing of the most recent articles in epigenetics and imprinting, collected from the PubMed database. en-us Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:30:08 PST Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:30:08 PST jirtle@radonc.duke.edu james001@jirtle.com A comprehensive overview of Infinium HumanMethylation450 data processing. Dedeurwaerder S, Defrance M, Bizet M, Calonne E, Bontempi G, Fuks F
Brief Bioinform (Nov 2014)

Infinium HumanMethylation450 beadarray is a popular technology to explore DNA methylomes in health and disease, and there is a current explosion in the use of this technique. Despite experience acquired from gene expression microarrays, analyzing Infinium Methylation arrays appeared more complex than initially thought and several difficulties have been encountered, as those arrays display specific features that need to be taken into consideration during data processing. Here, we review several issues that have been highlighted by the scientific community, and we present an overview of the general data processing scheme and an evaluation of the different normalization methods available to date to guide the 450K users in their analysis and data interpretation.]]>
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Establishment of paternal genomic imprinting in mouse prospermatogonia analyzed by nuclear transfer. Kamimura S, Hatanaka Y, Hirasawa R, Matsumoto K, Oikawa M, Lee J, Matoba S, Mizutani E, Ogonuki N, Inoue K, Kohda T, Ishino F, Ogura A
Biol Reprod (Nov 2014)

In mice, the establishment of paternal genomic imprinting in male germ cells starts at midgestation, as suggested by DNA methylation analyses of differentially methylated regions (DMRs). However, this information is based on averages from mixed populations of germ cells, and the DNA methylation pattern might not always provide a full representation of imprinting status. To obtain more detailed information on the establishment of paternal imprinting, single prospermatogonia at Embryonic Days 15.5 (E15.5), E16.5, and E17.5 and at Day 0.5 after birth were cloned using nuclear transfer; previous reports suggested that cloned embryos reflected the donor's genomic imprinting status. Then, the resultant fetuses (E9.5) were analyzed for the DNA methylation pattern of three paternal DMRs (IG-DMR, H19 DMR, and Rasgrf1 DMR) and the expression pattern of imprinted genes therein. The overall data indicated that establishment of genomic imprinting in all paternally imprinted regions was completed by E17.5, following a short intermediate period at E16.5. Furthermore, comparison between the methylation status of DMRs and the expression profiles of imprinted genes suggested that methylation of the IG-DMR, but not the H19 DMR, solely governed the control of its imprinted gene cluster. The Rasgrf1 DMR seemed to be imprinted later than the other two genes. We also found that the methylation status of the Gtl2 DMR, the secondary DMR that acquires DNA methylation after fertilization, was likely to follow the methylation status of the upstream IG-DMR. Thus, the systematic analyses of prospermatogonium-derived embryos provided additional important information on the establishment of paternal imprinting.]]>
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Toward a Road Map for Global -Omics: A Primer on -Omic Technologies. Coughlin SS
Am J Epidemiol (Nov 2014)

As highlighted in a recent editorial in the Journal (Am J Epidemiol. 2014;180(2):127-128), the research area of "-omics" includes genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and nascent fields of scientific inquiry such as epigenomics and exposomics. These fields can be collectively referred to as "global -omics." Increasing efforts have been made over the past 2 decades to identify and modify environmental risk factors among persons who are susceptible to disease because of their genotype and to integrate genetic information and other biological variables with information about individual-level risk factors and group-level or societal factors related to the broader residential, behavioral, or cultural context. In genome-wide association studies, only a small proportion of heritability is explained by genetic variants identified to date, which has prompted researchers in bioinformatics and biostatistics to take into account nonlinear relationships due to gene-environment or gene-gene interactions. The exposome, which is dynamic and variable, consists of all of the internal and external exposures an individual incurs over a lifetime. Both the epigenome and exposome change with age. The prenatal and perinatal periods are thought to be important times for epigenetic marking. Once the human epigenome has been fully mapped, identification of the effects of all deleterious environmental exposures according to duration of exposure and time period will be a complex undertaking, requiring collaborative epidemiologic studies.]]>
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Structural insight into autoinhibition and histone H3-induced activation of DNMT3A. Guo X, Wang L, Li J, Ding Z, Xiao J, Yin X, He S, Shi P, Dong L, Li G, Tian C, Wang J, Cong Y, Xu Y
Nature (Nov 2014)

DNA methylation is an important epigenetic modification that is essential for various developmental processes through regulating gene expression, genomic imprinting, and epigenetic inheritance. Mammalian genomic DNA methylation is established during embryogenesis by de novo DNA methyltransferases, DNMT3A and DNMT3B, and the methylation patterns vary with developmental stages and cell types. DNA methyltransferase 3-like protein (DNMT3L) is a catalytically inactive paralogue of DNMT3 enzymes, which stimulates the enzymatic activity of Dnmt3a. Recent studies have established a connection between DNA methylation and histone modifications, and revealed a histone-guided mechanism for the establishment of DNA methylation. The ATRX-DNMT3-DNMT3L (ADD) domain of Dnmt3a recognizes unmethylated histone H3 (H3K4me0). The histone H3 tail stimulates the enzymatic activity of Dnmt3a in vitro, whereas the molecular mechanism remains elusive. Here we show that DNMT3A exists in an autoinhibitory form and that the histone H3 tail stimulates its activity in a DNMT3L-independent manner. We determine the crystal structures of DNMT3A-DNMT3L (autoinhibitory form) and DNMT3A-DNMT3L-H3 (active form) complexes at 3.82 and 2.90 Å resolution, respectively. Structural and biochemical analyses indicate that the ADD domain of DNMT3A interacts with and inhibits enzymatic activity of the catalytic domain (CD) through blocking its DNA-binding affinity. Histone H3 (but not H3K4me3) disrupts ADD-CD interaction, induces a large movement of the ADD domain, and thus releases the autoinhibition of DNMT3A. The finding adds another layer of regulation of DNA methylation to ensure that the enzyme is mainly activated at proper targeting loci when unmethylated H3K4 is present, and strongly supports a negative correlation between H3K4me3 and DNA methylation across the mammalian genome. Our study provides a new insight into an unexpected autoinhibition and histone H3-induced activation of the de novo DNA methyltransferase after its initial genomic positioning.]]>
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Genomic imprinting, action, and interaction of maternal and fetal genomes. Keverne EB
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (Nov 2014)

Mammalian viviparity (intrauterine development of the fetus) introduced a new dimension to brain development, with the fetal hypothalamus and fetal placenta developing at a time when the fetal placenta engages hypothalamic structures of the maternal generation. Such transgenerational interactions provide a basis for ensuring optimal maternalism in the next generation. This success has depended on genomic imprinting and a biased role of the matriline. Maternal methylation imprints determine parent of origin expression of genes fundamental to both placental and hypothalamic development. The matriline takes a further leading role for transgenerational reprogramming of these imprints. Developmental errors are minimized by the tight control that imprinted genes have on regulation of downstream evolutionary expanded gene families important for placental and hypothalamic development. Imprinted genes themselves have undergone purifying selection, providing a framework of stability for in utero development with most growth variance occurring postnatally. Mothers, not fathers, take the lead in the endocrinological and behavior adaptations that nurture, feed, and protect the infant. In utero coadaptive development of the placenta and hypothalamus has thus required a concomitant development to ensure male masculinization. Only placental male mammals evolved the sex determining SRY, which activates Sox9 for testes formation. SRY is a hybrid gene of Dgcr8 expressed in the developing placenta and Sox3 expressed in hypothalamic development. This hybridization of genes that take their origin from the placenta and hypothalamus has enabled critical in utero timing for the development of fetal Leydig cells, and hence testosterone production for hypothalamic masculinization.]]>
Tue, 18 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Database resources of the National Center for Biotechnology Information.  
Nucleic Acids Res (Nov 2014)

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) provides a large suite of online resources for biological information and data, including the GenBank(®) nucleic acid sequence database and the PubMed database of citations and abstracts for published life science journals. Additional NCBI resources focus on literature (Bookshelf, PubMed Central (PMC) and PubReader); medical genetics (ClinVar, dbMHC, the Genetic Testing Registry, HIV-1/Human Protein Interaction Database and MedGen); genes and genomics (BioProject, BioSample, dbSNP, dbVar, Epigenomics, Gene, Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), Genome, HomoloGene, the Map Viewer, Nucleotide, PopSet, Probe, RefSeq, Sequence Read Archive, the Taxonomy Browser, Trace Archive and UniGene); and proteins and chemicals (Biosystems, COBALT, the Conserved Domain Database (CDD), the Conserved Domain Architecture Retrieval Tool (CDART), the Molecular Modeling Database (MMDB), Protein Clusters, Protein and the PubChem suite of small molecule databases). The Entrez system provides search and retrieval operations for many of these databases. Augmenting many of the Web applications are custom implementations of the BLAST program optimized to search specialized data sets. All of these resources can be accessed through the NCBI home page at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.]]>
Sat, 15 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Essential nutrient supplementation prevents heritable metabolic disease in multigenerational intrauterine growth-restricted rats. Goodspeed D, Seferovic MD, Holland W, Mcknight RA, Summers SA, Branch DW, Lane RH, Aagaard KM
FASEB J (Nov 2014)

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) confers heritable alterations in DNA methylation, rendering risk of adult metabolic syndrome (MetS). Because CpG methylation is coupled to intake of essential nutrients along the one-carbon pathway, we reasoned that essential nutrient supplementation (ENS) may abrogate IUGR-conferred multigenerational MetS. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats underwent bilateral uterine artery ligation causing IUGR in F1. Among the F2 generation, IUGR lineage rats were underweight at birth (6.7 vs. 8.0 g, P < 0.0001) and obese by adulthood (p160: 613 vs. 510 g; P < 0.0001). Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry studies revealed increased central fat mass (Δ+40 g), accompanied by dyslipidemic (>30% elevated, P < 0.05) serum triglycerides (139 mg/dl), very-LDLs (27.8 mg/dl), and fatty acids (632 µM). Hyperglycemic-euglycemic clamp studies and glucose tolerance testing revealed insulin resistance. Conversely, IUGR lineage ENS-fed rats did not manifest MetS, with significantly lower body weight (p160: 410 g), >5-fold less central fat mass, normal hepatic glucose efflux, and >70% reduced circulating triglycerides and very-LDLs compared with IUGR control-fed F2 offspring (P < 0.01). Moreover, increased methylation of the IGF-1 P2 transcriptional start site among IUGR lineage F2 offspring was reversed in ENS (P < 0.04). This is an initial demonstration that supplementation along the one-carbon pathway abrogates adult morbidity and associated epigenomic modifications of IGF-1 in a rodent model of multigenerational MetS.-Goodspeed, D., Seferovic, M. D., Holland, W., Mcknight, R. A., Summers, S. A., Branch, D. W., Lane, R. H., Aagaard, K. M. Essential nutrient supplementation prevents heritable metabolic disease in multigenerational intrauterine growth-restricted rats.]]>
Fri, 14 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Gene-Lifestyle Interactions in Complex Diseases: Design and Description of the GLACIER and VIKING Studies. Kurbasic A, Poveda A, Chen Y, Agren A, Engberg E, Hu FB, Johansson I, Barroso I, Brändström A, Hallmans G, Renström F, Franks PW
Curr Nutr Rep (Dec 2014)

Most complex diseases have well-established genetic and non-genetic risk factors. In some instances, these risk factors are likely to interact, whereby their joint effects convey a level of risk that is either significantly more or less than the sum of these risks. Characterizing these gene-environment interactions may help elucidate the biology of complex diseases, as well as to guide strategies for their targeted prevention. In most cases, the detection of gene-environment interactions will require sample sizes in excess of those needed to detect the marginal effects of the genetic and environmental risk factors. Although many consortia have been formed, comprising multiple diverse cohorts to detect gene-environment interactions, few robust examples of such interactions have been discovered. This may be because combining data across studies, usually through meta-analysis of summary data from the contributing cohorts, is often a statistically inefficient approach for the detection of gene-environment interactions. Ideally, single, very large and well-genotyped prospective cohorts, with validated measures of environmental risk factor and disease outcomes should be used to study interactions. The presence of strong founder effects within those cohorts might further strengthen the capacity to detect novel genetic effects and gene-environment interactions. Access to accurate genealogical data would also aid in studying the diploid nature of the human genome, such as genomic imprinting (parent-of-origin effects). Here we describe two studies from northern Sweden (the GLACIER and VIKING studies) that fulfill these characteristics.]]>
Fri, 14 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Mating ecology explains patterns of genome elimination. Gardner A, Ross L
Ecol Lett (Dec 2014)

Genome elimination - whereby an individual discards chromosomes inherited from one parent, and transmits only those inherited from the other parent - is found across thousands of animal species. It is more common in association with inbreeding, under male heterogamety, in males, and in the form of paternal genome elimination. However, the reasons for this broad pattern remain unclear. We develop a mathematical model to determine how degree of inbreeding, sex determination, genomic location, pattern of gene expression and parental origin of the eliminated genome interact to determine the fate of genome-elimination alleles. We find that: inbreeding promotes paternal genome elimination in the heterogametic sex; this may incur population extinction under female heterogamety, owing to eradication of males; and extinction is averted under male heterogamety, owing to countervailing sex-ratio selection. Thus, we explain the observed pattern of genome elimination. Our results highlight the interaction between mating system, sex-ratio selection and intragenomic conflict.]]>
Fri, 14 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Genetic Variation in Imprinted Genes is Associated with Risk of Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease. Chaudhry M, Wang X, Bamne MN, Hasnain S, Demirci FY, Lopez OL, Kamboh MI
J Alzheimers Dis (Nov 2014)

Epigenetic changes including genomic imprinting may affect risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD). There are >100 known imprinted genes and most of them are expressed in human brain. In this study, we examined the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 93 imprinted genes with LOAD risk in 1291 LOAD cases and 958 cognitively normal controls. We performed single-site, gene-based, and haplotype analyses. Single-site analysis showed 14 significant associations at p < 0.01. The most significant SNP (rs11770199; p = 0.0003) in single-site analysis was located on chromosome 7 in the GRB10 gene. Gene-based analyses revealed four significant associations in the WT1, ZC3H12C, DLGAP2, and GPR1 genes at p < 0.05. The haplotype analysis also revealed significant associations with three genes (ZC3H12C, DLGAP2, and GPR1). These findings suggest a possible role of imprinted genes in AD pathogenesis that show specific expression in the brain.]]>
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Altered gene expression in human placentas after IVF/ICSI. Nelissen EC, Dumoulin JC, Busato F, Ponger L, Eijssen LM, Evers JL, Tost J, van Montfoort AP
Hum Reprod (Dec 2014)

Is gene expression in placental tissue of IVF/ICSI patients altered when compared with a spontaneously conceived group, and are these alterations due to loss of imprinting (LOI) in the case of imprinted genes?]]>
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
DLK1/PREF1 regulates nutrient metabolism and protects from steatosis. Charalambous M, Da Rocha ST, Radford EJ, Medina-Gomez G, Curran S, Pinnock SB, Ferrón SR, Vidal-Puig A, Ferguson-Smith AC
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (Nov 2014)

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with insulin resistance and obesity, as well as progressive liver dysfunction. Recent animal studies have underscored the importance of hepatic growth hormone (GH) signaling in the development of NAFLD. The imprinted Delta-like homolog 1 (Dlk1)/preadipocyte factor 1 (Pref1) gene encodes a complex protein producing both circulating and membrane-tethered isoforms whose expression dosage is functionally important because even modest elevation during embryogenesis causes lethality. DLK1 is up-regulated during embryogenesis, during suckling, and in the mother during pregnancy. We investigated the normal role for elevated DLK1 dosage by overexpressing Dlk1 from endogenous control elements. This increased DLK1 dosage caused improved glucose tolerance with no primary defect in adipose tissue expansion even under extreme metabolic stress. Rather, Dlk1 overexpression caused reduced fat stores, pituitary insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) resistance, and a defect in feedback regulation of GH. Increased circulatory GH culminated in a switch in whole body fuel metabolism and a reduction in hepatic steatosis. We propose that the function of DLK1 is to shift the metabolic mode of the organism toward peripheral lipid oxidation and away from lipid storage, thus mediating important physiological adaptations associated with early life and with implications for metabolic disease resistance.]]>
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
A novel imprinted transgene located near a repetitive element that exhibits allelic imbalance in DNA methylation during early development. Uchiyama K, Watanabe D, Hayasaka M, Hanaoka K
Dev Growth Differ (Nov 2014)

A mouse line carrying a lacZ transgene driven by the human EEF1A1/EF1alpha promoter was established. Although the promoter is known to show ubiquitous activity, only paternal transgene alleles were expressed, resulting in a transgene imprinting. At mid-gestation, the promoter sequence was differentially methylated, hypomethylated for paternal and hypermethylated for maternal alleles. In germline, the promoter was a typical differentially methylated region. After fertilization, however, both alleles were hypermethylated. Thus, the differential methylation of the promoter required for transgene imprinting was re-established during later embryonic development independently of the germline differential methylation. Furthermore, also a retroelement promoter closely-flanking imprinted transgene and its wild type counterpart displayed similar differential methylation during early development. The retroelement promoter was methylated differentially also in germline, but in an opposite pattern to the embryonic differential methylation. These results suggest that there might be an unknown epigenetic regulation inducing transgene imprinting independently of DNA methylation in the transgene insertion site. Then, besides CpG dinucleotides, non-CpG cytosines of the retroelement promoter were highly methylated especially in the transgene-active mid-gestational embryos, suggesting that an unusual epigenetic regulation might protect the active transgene against de novo methylation occurring generally in mid-gestational embryo.]]>
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Stability of XIST repression in relation to genomic imprinting following global genome demethylation in a human cell line. de Araújo ES, Vasques LR, Stabellini R, Krepischi AC, Pereira LV
Braz J Med Biol Res (Dec 2014)

DNA methylation is essential in X chromosome inactivation and genomic imprinting, maintaining repression of XIST in the active X chromosome and monoallelic repression of imprinted genes. Disruption of the DNA methyltransferase genes DNMT1 and DNMT3B in the HCT116 cell line (DKO cells) leads to global DNA hypomethylation and biallelic expression of the imprinted gene IGF2 but does not lead to reactivation of XIST expression, suggesting that XIST repression is due to a more stable epigenetic mark than imprinting. To test this hypothesis, we induced acute hypomethylation in HCT116 cells by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-CdR) treatment (HCT116-5-aza-CdR) and compared that to DKO cells, evaluating DNA methylation by microarray and monitoring the expression of XIST and imprinted genes IGF2, H19, and PEG10. Whereas imprinted genes showed biallelic expression in HCT116-5-aza-CdR and DKO cells, the XIST locus was hypomethylated and weakly expressed only under acute hypomethylation conditions, indicating the importance of XIST repression in the active X to cell survival. Given that DNMT3A is the only active DNMT in DKO cells, it may be responsible for ensuring the repression of XIST in those cells. Taken together, our data suggest that XIST repression is more tightly controlled than genomic imprinting and, at least in part, is due to DNMT3A.]]>
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Altered expression of the imprinted transcription factor PLAGL1 deregulates a network of genes in the human IUGR placenta. Iglesias-Platas I, Martin-Trujillo A, Petazzi P, Guillaumet-Adkins A, Esteller M, Monk D
Hum Mol Genet (Dec 2014)

Genomic imprinting is the epigenetic process that results in monoallelic expression of genes depending on parental origin. These genes are known to be critical for placental development and fetal growth in mammals. Aberrant epigenetic profiles at imprinted loci, such as DNA methylation defects, are surprisingly rare in pregnancies with compromised fetal growth, while variations in transcriptional output from the expressed alleles of imprinted genes are more commonly reported in pregnancies complicated with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). To determine if PLAGL1 and HYMAI, two imprinted transcripts deregulated in Transient Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus, are involved in non-syndromic IUGR we compared the expression and DNA methylation levels in a large cohort of placental biopsies from IUGR and uneventful pregnancies. This revealed that despite appropriate maternal methylation at the shared PLAGL1/HYMAI promoter, there was a loss of correlation between PLAGL1 and HYMAI expression in IUGR. This incongruity was due to higher HYMAI expression in IUGR gestations, coupled with PLAGL1 down-regulation in placentas from IUGR girls, but not boys. The PLAGL1 protein is a zinc-finger transcription factor that has been shown to be a master coordinator of a genetic growth network in mice. We observe PLAGL1 binding to the H19/IGF2 shared enhancers in placentae, with significant correlations between PLAGL1 levels with H19 and IGF2 expression levels. In addition, PLAGL1 binding and expression also correlate with expression levels of metabolic regulator genes SLC2A4, TCF4 and PPARγ1. Our results strongly suggest that fetal growth can be influenced by altered expression of the PLAGL1 gene network in human placenta.]]>
Fri, 07 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Identification of master genes involved in liver key functions through transcriptomics and epigenomics of methyl donor deficiency in rat: Relevance to non-alcoholic liver disease. Chen G, Broséus J, Hergalant S, Donnart A, Chevalier C, Bolaños-Jiménez F, Guéant JL, Houlgatte R
Mol Nutr Food Res (Nov 2014)

Our study aims to investigate molecular events associated to methyl donor deficiency (MDD) by analysing the transcriptome and the methylome of MDD rats in liver.]]>
Fri, 07 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Tissue-specific regulation and function of Grb10 during growth and neuronal commitment. Plasschaert RN, Bartolomei MS
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (Nov 2014)

Growth-factor receptor bound protein 10 (Grb10) is a signal adapter protein encoded by an imprinted gene that has roles in growth control, cellular proliferation, and insulin signaling. Additionally, Grb10 is critical for the normal behavior of the adult mouse. These functions are paralleled by Grb10's unique tissue-specific imprinted expression; the paternal copy of Grb10 is expressed in a subset of neurons whereas the maternal copy is expressed in most other adult tissues in the mouse. The mechanism that underlies this switch between maternal and paternal expression is still unclear, as is the role for paternally expressed Grb10 in neurons. Here, we review recent work and present complementary data that contribute to the understanding of Grb10 gene regulation and function, with specific emphasis on growth and neuronal development. Additionally, we show that in vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into alpha motor neurons recapitulates the switch from maternal to paternal expression observed during neuronal development in vivo. We postulate that this switch in allele-specific expression is related to the functional role of Grb10 in motor neurons and other neuronal tissues.]]>
Tue, 04 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
Distinct allelic expression patterns of imprinted IGF2 in adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. Ozaki S, Kawahara E, Maenaka S, Hoang NV, Oyama T, Imai M, Oda M, Yano S
Oncol Lett (Dec 2014)

The insulin-like growth factor 2 gene (IGF2) is an imprinting gene, which mediates cell growth and apoptosis. The loss of imprinting (LOI) of IGF2 has been associated with the development of cancer. In the present study, loss LOI of IGF2 in lung cancer was analyzed using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) in combination with DNA sequencing of samples collected by laser capture microdissection. The status of each sample was assigned as imprinting when PCR-RFLP revealed only one band or sequence with a single peak; otherwise, the case was classified as LOI. LOI was identified in eight out of 13 adenocarcinoma cases (62%), but was not detected in any of the nine squamous cell carcinoma cases (0%). These results suggest that IGF2 LOI is involved in the molecular pathogenesis of lung adenocarcinoma, but not squamous cell carcinoma, and that LOI may be detected through increased IGF2 expression levels.]]>
Mon, 03 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PST
A Comprehensive View of the Epigenetic Landscape Part I: DNA Methylation, Passive and Active DNA Demethylation Pathways and Histone Variants. Sadakierska-Chudy A, Kostrzewa RM, Filip M
Neurotox Res (Nov 2014)

In multicellular organisms, all the cells are genetically identical but turn genes on or off at the right time to promote differentiation into specific cell types. The regulation of higher-order chromatin structure is essential for genome-wide reprogramming and for tissue-specific patterns of gene expression. The complexity of the genome is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms, which act at the level of DNA, histones, and nucleosomes. Epigenetic machinery is involved in many biological processes, including genomic imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation, heterochromatin formation, and transcriptional regulation, as well as DNA damage repair. In this review, we summarize the recent understanding of DNA methylation, cytosine derivatives, active and passive demethylation pathways as well as histone variants. DNA methylation is one of the well-characterized epigenetic signaling tools. Cytosine methylation of promoter regions usually represses transcription but methylation in the gene body may have a positive correlation with gene expression. The attachment of a methyl group to cytosine residue in the DNA sequence is catalyzed by enzymes of the DNA methyltransferase family. Recent studies have shown that the Ten-Eleven translocation family enzymes are involved in stepwise oxidation of 5-methylcytosine, creating new cytosine derivatives including 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5-formylcytosine, and 5-carboxylcytosine. Additionally, histone variants into nucleosomes create another strategy to regulate the structure and function of chromatin. The replacement of canonical histones with specialized histone variants regulates accessibility of DNA, and thus may affect multiple biological processes, such as replication, transcription, DNA repair, and play a role in various disorders such as cancer.]]>
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Opposite risk patterns for autism and schizophrenia are associated with normal variation in birth size: phenotypic support for hypothesized diametric gene-dosage effects. Byars SG, Stearns SC, Boomsma JJ
Proc Biol Sci (Nov 2014)

Opposite phenotypic and behavioural traits associated with copy number variation and disruptions to imprinted genes with parent-of-origin effects have led to the hypothesis that autism and schizophrenia share molecular risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms, but a direct phenotypic comparison of how their risks covary has not been attempted. Here, we use health registry data collected on Denmark's roughly 5 million residents between 1978 and 2009 to detect opposing risks of autism and schizophrenia depending on normal variation (mean ± 1 s.d.) in adjusted birth size, which we use as a proxy for diametric gene-dosage variation in utero. Above-average-sized babies (weight, 3691-4090 g; length, 52.8-54.3 cm) had significantly higher risk for autism spectrum (AS) and significantly lower risk for schizophrenia spectrum (SS) disorders. By contrast, below-average-sized babies (2891-3290 g; 49.7-51.2 cm) had significantly lower risk for AS and significantly higher risk for SS disorders. This is the first study directly comparing autism and schizophrenia risks in the same population, and provides the first large-scale empirical support for the hypothesis that diametric gene-dosage effects contribute to these disorders. Only the kinship theory of genomic imprinting predicts the opposing risk patterns that we discovered, suggesting that molecular research on mental disease risk would benefit from considering evolutionary theory.]]>
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 PDT