'; ?> 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 Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:20:27 PDT Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:20:27 PDT jirtle@radonc.duke.edu james001@jirtle.com Modulation of imprinted gene expression following superovulation. Fortier AL, McGraw S, Lopes FL, Niles KM, Landry M, Trasler JM
Mol Cell Endocrinol (May 2014)

Although assisted reproductive technologies increase the risk of low birth weight and genomic imprinting disorders, the precise underlying causes remain unclear. Using a mouse model, we previously showed that superovulation alters the expression of imprinted genes in the placenta at 9.5days (E9.5) of gestation. Here, we investigate whether effects of superovulation on genomic imprinting persisted at later stages of development and assess the surviving fetuses for growth and morphological abnormalities. Superovulation, followed by embryo transfer at E3.5, as compared to spontaneous ovulation (controls), resulted in embryos of normal size and weight at 14.5 and 18.5days of gestation. The normal monoallelic expression of the imprinted genes H19, Snrpn and Kcnq1ot1 was unaffected in either the placentae or the embryos from the superovulated females at E14.5 or E18.5. However, for the paternally expressed imprinted gene Igf2, superovulation generated placentae with reduced production of the mature protein at E9.5 and significantly more variable mRNA levels at E14.5. We propose that superovulation results in the ovulation of abnormal oocytes with altered expression of imprinted genes, but that the coregulated genes of the imprinted gene network result in modulated expression.]]>
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
NOS1 Methylation and Carotid Artery Intima-Media Thickness in Children. Breton CV, Park C, Siegmund K, Gauderman WJ, Whitfield-Maxwell L, Hodis HN, Avol E, Gilliland FD
Circ Cardiovasc Genet (Apr 2014)

Background- Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in cardiovascular health by maintaining and regulating vascular tone and blood flow. Epigenetic regulation of NO synthase (NOS), the genes responsible for NO production, may affect cardiovascular disease, including the development of atherosclerosis in children. Methods and Results- We measured percentage DNA methylation using bisulfite conversion and pyrosequencing assays on DNA from buccal cells provided by 377 participants of the Children's Health Study on whom carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) measurements were also collected. We examined a total of 16 CpG loci located within NOS1, NOS2A, NOS3, ARG1, and ARG2 genes responsible for NO production. CIMT was measured using high-resolution B-mode carotid ultrasound. The association between percentage DNA methylation in ARG and NOS genes with CIMT was evaluated using linear regression adjusted for sex, ethnicity, body mass index, age at CIMT, town of residence, and experimental plate for pyrosequencing reactions. Differences in the association by ethnicity and ancestral group were also evaluated. For a 1% increase in average DNA methylation of NOS1, CIMT increased by 1.2 μm (P=0.02). This association was greater in Hispanic children of Native American descent (β=2.3; P=0.004) than in non-Hispanic whites (β=0.3; P=0.71) or Hispanic whites (β=1.0; P=0.35). Conclusions- DNA methylation of NOS1 has a plausible role in atherogenesis through regulation of NO production, although ancestry may alter the magnitude of this association.]]>
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
DNA methylation study of fetus genome through a genome-wide analysis. Wang HD, Hou QF, Guo QN, Li T, Wu D, Zhang XP, Chu Y, He M, Xiao H, Guo LJ, Yang K, Liao SX, Zhu BF
BMC Med Genomics (Apr 2014)

DNA methylation is a crucial epigenetic modification of the genome which is involved in embryonic development, transcription, chromatin structure, X chromosome inactivation, genomic imprinting and chromosome stability. Consistent with these important roles, DNA methylation has been demonstrated to be required for vertebrate early embryogenesis and essential for regulating temporal and spatial expression of genes controlling cell fate and differentiation. Further studies have shown that abnormal DNA methylation is associated with human diseases including the embryonic development diseases. We attempt to study the DNA methylation status of CpG islands in fetus related to fetus growth and development.]]>
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Exploring bacterial epigenomics in the next-generation sequencing era: a new approach for an emerging frontier. Chen P, Jeannotte R, Weimer BC
Trends Microbiol (Apr 2014)

Epigenetics has an important role for the success of foodborne pathogen persistence in diverse host niches. Substantial challenges exist in determining DNA methylation to situation-specific phenotypic traits. DNA modification, mediated by restriction-modification systems, functions as an immune response against antagonistic external DNA, and bacteriophage-acquired methyltransferases (MTase) and orphan MTases - those lacking the cognate restriction endonuclease - facilitate evolution of new phenotypes via gene expression modulation via DNA and RNA modifications, including methylation and phosphorothioation. Recent establishment of large-scale genome sequencing projects will result in a significant increase in genome availability that will lead to new demands for data analysis including new predictive bioinformatics approaches that can be verified with traditional scientific rigor. Sequencing technologies that detect modification coupled with mass spectrometry to discover new adducts is a powerful tactic to study bacterial epigenetics, which is poised to make novel and far-reaching discoveries that link biological significance and the bacterial epigenome.]]>
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Etiologies underlying sex differences in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Schaafsma SM, Pfaff DW
Front Neuroendocrinol (Apr 2014)

The male predominance of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is one of the best-known, and at the same time, one of the least understood characteristics of these disorders. In this paper we review genetic, epigenetic, hormonal, and environmental mechanisms underlying this male preponderance. Sex-specific effects of Y-linked genes (including SRY expression leading to testicular development), balanced and skewed X-inactivation, genes that escape X-inactivation, parent-of-origin allelic imprinting, and the hypothetical heterochromatin sink are reviewed. These mechanisms likely contribute to etiology, instead of being simply causative to ASD. Environments, both internal and external, also play important roles in ASD's etiology. Early exposure to androgenic hormones and early maternal immune activation comprise environmental factors affecting sex-specific susceptibility to ASD. The gene-environment interactions underlying ASD, suggested here, implicate early prenatal stress as being especially detrimental to boys with a vulnerable genotype.]]>
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
How does the Mediterranean diet promote cardiovascular health? Current progress toward molecular mechanisms: Gene-diet interactions at the genomic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic levels provide novel insights into new mechanisms. Corella D, Ordovás JM
Bioessays (May 2014)

Epidemiological evidence supports a health-promoting effect of the Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet), especially in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. These cardiovascular benefits have been attributed to a number of components of the MedDiet such as monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Likewise, little is known about the genes that define inter-individual variation in response to the MedDiet, although the TCF7L2 gene is emerging as an illustrative candidate for determining relative risk of cardiovascular events in response to the MedDiet. Moreover, omics technologies are providing evidence supporting potential mechanisms, some of them implicating epigenetics (i.e. microRNAs, methylation), and certain data suggest that some traditional foods could contribute via microRNAs possibly acting as exogenous regulators of gene expression. Future research should aim at increasing and consolidating the nutrigenetic and nutrigenomic knowledge of the MedDiet in order to provide sound, personalized and optimized nutritional recommendations.]]>
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Allelic specificity of Ube3a Expression In The Mouse Brain During Postnatal Development. Judson MC, Sosa-Pagan JO, Del Cid WA, Han JE, Philpot BD
J Comp Neurol (Jun 2014)

Genetic alterations of the maternal UBE3A allele result in Angelman syndrome (AS), a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe developmental delay, lack of speech, and difficulty with movement and balance. The combined effects of maternal UBE3A mutation and cell type-specific epigenetic silencing of paternal UBE3A are hypothesized to result in a complete loss of functional UBE3A protein in neurons. However, the allelic specificity of UBE3A expression in neurons and other cell types in the brain has yet to be characterized throughout development, including the early postnatal period when AS phenotypes emerge. Here we define maternal and paternal allele-specific Ube3a protein expression throughout postnatal brain development in the mouse, a species that exhibits orthologous epigenetic silencing of paternal Ube3a in neurons and AS-like behavioral phenotypes subsequent to maternal Ube3a deletion. We find that neurons downregulate paternal Ube3a protein expression as they mature and, with the exception of neurons born from postnatal stem cell niches, do not express detectable paternal Ube3a beyond the first postnatal week. By contrast, neurons express maternal Ube3a throughout postnatal development, during which time localization of the protein becomes increasingly nuclear. Unlike neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrotyes biallelically express Ube3a. Notably, mature oligodendrocytes emerge as the predominant Ube3a-expressing glial cell type in the cortex and white matter tracts during postnatal development. These findings demonstrate the spatiotemporal characteristics of allele-specific Ube3a expression in key brain cell types, thereby improving our understanding of the developmental parameters of paternal Ube3a silencing and the cellular basis of AS. J. Comp. Neurol. 522:1874-1896, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.]]>
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Personalized nutrition and obesity. Qi L
Ann Med (Apr 2014)

The past few decades have witnessed a rapid rise in nutrition-related disorders such as obesity in the United States and over the world. Traditional nutrition research has associated various foods and nutrients with obesity. Recent advances in genomics have led to identification of the genetic variants determining body weight and related dietary factors such as intakes of energy and macronutrients. In addition, compelling evidence has lent support to interactions between genetic variations and dietary factors in relation to obesity and weight change. Moreover, recently emerging data from other 'omics' studies such as epigenomics and metabolomics suggest that more complex interplays between the global features of human body and dietary factors may exist at multiple tiers in affecting individuals' susceptibility to obesity; and a concept of 'personalized nutrition' has been proposed to integrate this novel knowledge with traditional nutrition research, with the hope ultimately to endorse person-centric diet intervention to mitigate obesity and related disorders.]]>
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Genomic tools in acute myeloid leukemia: From the bench to the bedside. White BS, Dipersio JF
Cancer (Apr 2014)

Since its use in the initial characterization of an acute myeloid leukemia (AML) genome, next-generation sequencing (NGS) has continued to molecularly refine the disease. Here, the authors review the spectrum of NGS applications that have subsequently delineated the prognostic significance and biologic consequences of these mutations. Furthermore, the role of this technology in providing a high-resolution glimpse of AML clonal heterogeneity, which may inform future choice of targeted therapy, is discussed. Although obstacles remain in applying these techniques clinically, they have already had an impact on patient care. Cancer 2014;120:1134-1144. © 2014 American Cancer Society.]]>
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
DNA methylation and evolution of duplicate genes. Keller TE, Yi SV
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (Apr 2014)

The evolutionary mechanisms underlying duplicate gene maintenance and divergence remain highly debated. Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, may contribute to duplicate gene evolution by facilitating tissue-specific regulation. However, the role of epigenetic divergence on duplicate gene evolution remains little understood. Here we show, using comprehensive data across 10 diverse human tissues, that DNA methylation plays critical roles in several aspects of duplicate gene evolution. We first demonstrate that duplicate genes are initially heavily methylated, before gradually losing DNA methylation as they age. Within each pair, DNA methylation divergence between duplicate partners increases with evolutionary age. Importantly, tissue-specific DNA methylation of duplicates correlates with tissue-specific expression, implicating DNA methylation as a causative factor for functional divergence of duplicate genes. These patterns are apparent in promoters but not in gene bodies, in accord with the complex relationship between gene-body DNA methylation and transcription. Remarkably, many duplicate gene pairs exhibit consistent division of DNA methylation across multiple, divergent tissues: For the majority (73%) of duplicate gene pairs, one partner is always hypermethylated compared with the other. This is indicative of a common underlying determinant of DNA methylation. The division of DNA methylation is also consistent with their chromatin accessibility profiles. Moreover, at least two sequence motifs known to interact with the Sp1 transcription factor mark promoters of more hypomethylated duplicate partners. These results demonstrate critical roles of DNA methylation, as well as complex interaction between genome and epigenome, on duplicate gene evolution.]]>
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Comparative epigenomics in distantly related teleost species identifies conserved cis-regulatory nodes active during the vertebrate phylotypic period. Tena JJ, González-Aguilera C, Fernández-Miñán A, Vázquez-Marín J, Parra-Acero H, Cross JW, Rigby PW, Carvajal JJ, Wittbrodt J, Gómez-Skarmeta JL, Martinez-Morales JR
Genome Res (Apr 2014)

The complex relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny has been the subject of attention and controversy since von Baer's formulations in the 19th century. The classic concept that embryogenesis progresses from clade general features to species specific characters has been often revisited. It has become accepted that embryos from a clade show maximum morphological similarity at the so-called phylotypic period (i.e. during mid-embryogenesis). According to the hourglass model, body plan conservation would depend on constrained molecular mechanisms operating at this period. More recently, comparative transcriptomic analyses have provided conclusive evidence that such molecular constraints exist (Domazet-Loso and Tautz 2010; Kalinka et al. 2010). Examining cis-regulatory architecture during the phylotypic period is essential to understand the evolutionary source of body plan stability. Here we compare transcriptomes and key epigenetic marks (H3K4me3 and H3K27ac) from medaka (O. latipes) and zebrafish (D. rerio), two distantly related teleosts separated by an evolutionary distance of 115-200 Myr. We show that comparison of transcriptome profiles correlates with anatomical similarities and heterochronies observed at the phylotypic stage. Through comparative epigenomics we uncover a pool of conserved regulatory regions (≈700), which are active during the vertebrate phylotypic period in both species. Moreover, we show that their neighboring genes encode mainly transcription factors with fundamental roles in tissue specification. We postulate that these regulatory regions, active in both teleost genomes, represent key constrained nodes of the gene networks that sustain the vertebrate body plan.]]>
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Variable allelic expression of imprinted genes in human pluripotent stem cells during differentiation into specialized cell types in vitro. Park SW, Kim J, Park JL, Ko JY, Im I, Do HS, Kim H, Tran NT, Lee SH, Kim YS, Cho YS, Lee DR, Han YM
Biochem Biophys Res Commun (Apr 2014)

Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon by which a subset of genes is asymmetrically expressed in a parent-of-origin manner. However, little is known regarding the epigenetic behaviors of imprinted genes during human development. Here, we show dynamic epigenetic changes in imprinted genes in hESCs during in vitro differentiation into specialized cell types. Out of 9 imprinted genes with single nucleotide polymorphisms, mono-allelic expression for three imprinted genes (H19, KCNQ1OT1, and IPW), and bi- or partial-allelic expression for three imprinted genes (OSBPL5, PPP1R9A, and RTL1) were stably retained in H9-hESCs throughout differentiation, representing imprinting stability. Three imprinted genes (KCNK9, ATP10A, and SLC22A3) showed a loss and a gain of imprinting in a lineage-specific manner during differentiation. Changes in allelic expression of imprinted genes were observed in another hESC line during in vitro differentiation. These findings indicate that the allelic expression of imprinted genes may be vulnerable in a lineage-specific manner in human pluripotent stem cells during differentiation.]]>
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Epigenomics starts to make its mark. Callaway E
Nature (Apr 2014)

Thu, 03 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PDT
APeg3: regulation of Peg3 through an evolutionarily conserved ncRNA. Frey WD, Kim J
Gene (May 2014)

Mammalian APeg3 is an antisense gene that is localized within the 3'-untranslated region of the imprinted gene, Peg3. APeg3 is expressed only in the vasopressinergic neurons of the hypothalamus, thus is predicted to play significant roles in this specific area of the brain. In the current study, we investigate the functions of APeg3 with comparative genomics and cell line-based functional approaches. The transcribed region of APeg3 displays high levels of sequence conservation among placental mammals, but without any obvious open reading frame, suggesting that APeg3 may have been selected as a ncRNA gene during eutherian evolution. This has been further supported by the detection of a conserved local RNA secondary structure within APeg3. RNA secondary structure analyses indicate a single conserved hairpin-loop structure towards the 5' end of the transcript. The results from cell line-based transfection experiments demonstrate that APeg3 has the potential to down-regulate the transcription and protein levels of Peg3. The observed down-regulation by APeg3 is also somewhat orientation-independent. Overall, these results suggest that APeg3 has evolved as a ncRNA gene and controls the function of its sense gene Peg3 within specific neuronal cells.]]>
Mon, 24 Mar 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Haploid animal cells. Wutz A
Development (Apr 2014)

Haploid genetics holds great promise for understanding genome evolution and function. Much of the work on haploid genetics has previously been limited to microbes, but possibilities now extend to animal species, including mammals. Whereas haploid animals were described decades ago, only very recent advances in culture techniques have facilitated haploid embryonic stem cell derivation in mammals. This article examines the potential use of haploid cells and puts haploid animal cells into a historical and biological context. Application of haploid cells in genetic screening holds promise for advancing the genetic exploration of mammalian genomes.]]>
Wed, 19 Mar 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Significance of epigenetics for understanding brain development, brain evolution and behaviour. Keverne EB
Neuroscience (Apr 2014)

Two major environmental developments have occurred in mammalian evolution which have impacted on the genetic and epigenetic regulation of brain development. The first of these was viviparity and development of the placenta which placed a considerable burden of time and energy investment on the matriline, and which resulted in essential hypothalamic modifications. Maternal feeding, maternal care, parturition, milk letdown and the suspension of fertility and sexual behaviour are all determined by the maternal hypothalamus and have evolved to meet foetal needs under the influence of placental hormones. Viviparity itself provided a new environmental variable for selection pressures to operate via the co-existence over three generations of matrilineal genomes (mother, developing offspring and developing oocytes) in one individual. Also of importance for the matriline has been the evolution of epigenetic marks (imprint control regions) which are heritable and undergo reprogramming primarily in the oocyte to regulate imprinted gene expression according to parent of origin. Imprinting of autosomal genes has played a significant role in mammalian evolutionary development, particularly that of the hypothalamus and placenta. Indeed, many imprinted genes that are co-expressed in the placenta and hypothalamus play an important role in the co-adapted functioning of these organs. Thus the action and interaction of two genomes (maternal and foetal) have provided a template for transgenerational selection pressures to operate in shaping the mothering capabilities of each subsequent generation. The advanced aspects of neocortical brain evolution in primates have emancipated much of behaviour from the determininIBROg effects of hormonal action. Thus in large brain primates, most of the sexual behaviour is not reproductive hormone dependent and maternal care can and does occur outside the context of pregnancy and parturition. The neocortex has evolved to be adaptable and while the adapted changes are not inherited, the epigenetic predisposing processes can be. This provides each generation with the same ability to generate new adaptations while retaining a "cultural" predisposition to retain others. A significant evolutionary contribution to this epigenetic dimension has again been the matriline. The extensive neocortical development which takes place post-natally does so in an environment which is predominantly that of the caring guidance of the mother. Evidence for the epigenetic regulation of neocortical development is best illustrated by the GABA-ergic neurons and their long tangential migratory pathway from the ganglionic eminence, in contrast to the radial migration of principle neurons. GABA-ergic neurons play an integral role both in the developmental formation of canonical localised circuits and in synchronising widespread functional activity by the regulation of network oscillations. Such synchronisation enables distributed regions of the neocortex to coordinate firing. GABA-ergic dysfunction contributes to a broad spectrum of neurological and psychiatric disorders which can differ even across identical monozygotic twins. Moreover, major treatments for schizophrenia over the past 40years have included the drugs lithium and valproate, both of which we now know are histone deacetylases. It is rarely the heritable dysfunctioning of these epigenetic mechanisms that is at fault, but the timing, duration and place where they are deployed. The timing and complexity in the development of the neocortex makes this region of the brain more vulnerable to perturbations.]]>
Mon, 17 Mar 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Transitioning from genotypes to epigenotypes: Why the time has come for medulloblastoma epigenomics. Batora NV, Sturm D, Jones DT, Kool M, Pfister SM, Northcott PA
Neuroscience (Apr 2014)

Recent advances in genomic technologies have allowed for tremendous progress in our understanding of the biology underlying medulloblastoma, a malignant childhood brain tumor. Consensus molecular subgroups have been put forth by the pediatric neuro-oncology community and next-generation genomic studies have led to an improved description of driver genes and pathways somatically altered in these subgroups. In contrast to the impressive pace at which advances have been made at the level of the medulloblastoma genome, comparable studies of the epigenome have lagged behind. Complementary data yielded from genomic sequencing and copy number profiling have verified frequent targeting of chromatin modifiers in medulloblastoma, highly suggestive of prominent epigenetic deregulation in the disease. Past studies of DNA methylation-dependent gene silencing and microRNA expression analyses further support the concept of medulloblastoma as an epigenetic disease. In this Review, we aim to summarize the key findings of past reports pertaining to medulloblastoma epigenetics as well as recent and ongoing genomic efforts linking somatic alterations of the genome with inferred deregulation of the epigenome. In addition, we predict what is on the horizon for medulloblastoma epigenetics and how aberrant changes in the medulloblastoma epigenome might serve as an attractive target for future therapies.]]>
Mon, 17 Mar 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Genomic imprinting: sensing the environment and driving the fetal growth. Lambertini L
Curr Opin Pediatr (Apr 2014)

Genomic imprinting is an epigenetically-driven phenomenon that responds to environmental stimuli to determine the fetal growth trajectory. This review aims at describing the transgenerational meaning of genomic imprinting while supporting the study of genomic imprinting in placenta for the determination of an important biomarker of chronic and developmental disorders in children as driven by the environment.]]>
Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Unraveling the DNA methylome of atherosclerosis. Zaina S
Curr Opin Lipidol (Apr 2014)

Epigenetic mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in atherosclerosis have gained an increasing interest in recent years. We focus on the relevance of DNA methylation, a well characterized epigenetic modification of the genome, as a biomarker and underlying mechanism of atherosclerosis.]]>
Thu, 13 Mar 2014 00:00:00 PDT
Gastroenteropancreatic endocrine tumors. Meeker A, Heaphy C
Mol Cell Endocrinol (Apr 2014)

Gastroenteropancreatic endocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) are relatively uncommon; comprising approximately 0.5% of all human cancers. Although they often exhibit relatively indolent clinical courses, GEP-NETs have the potential for lethal progression. Due to their scarcity and various technical challenges, GEP-NETs have been understudied. As a consequence, we have few diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers for these tumors. Early detection and surgical removal is currently the only reliable curative treatment for GEP-NET patients; many of whom, unfortunately, present with advanced disease. Here, we review the genetics and epigenetics of GEP-NETs. The last few years have witnessed unprecedented technological advances in these fields, and their application to GEP-NETS has already led to important new information on the molecular abnormalities underlying them. As outlined here, we expect that "omics" studies will provide us with new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, inform the development of improved pre-clinical models, and identify novel therapeutic targets for GEP-NET patients.]]>
Mon, 03 Mar 2014 00:00:00 PST