What is Epigenetics technical articles are geared towards epigenetic research techniques, news, and trends in the field of epigenetics, written by scientists from universities and institutions including UCLA, Hofstra, NIH, Johns Hopkins, and more.

Explore in detail new epigenetic research techniques and tips for topics like next-generation sequencing (NGS) in epigenetics, m6A RNA methylation, CRISPR/Cas9 system epigenetic editing, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) protocol optimization, and single-cell epigenomics methods.

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DNA Methylation Editing: Expert Insights into the Technologies, Challenges, and Future Perspectives

December 26, 2023 Mike Spelios

This article was first published by EpigenTek. Since the 1970s when studies on the epigenetics of chromatin first started, histone and DNA marks, especially DNA methylation, have become the most investigated and characterized epigenetic modifications to date [Razin]. DNA methylation has garnered significant attention within the field as a pivotal regulator of gene expression. Its extensive influence on biological processes, ranging from development to disease, has redefined our comprehension of genetic control and prompted innovative approaches for medical interventions. During development, [more…]

Therapeutic Targeting of Histone Modifications: Insights from the Experts

September 19, 2023 Mike Spelios

This article was first published by EpigenTek. It would be a near impossible feat for the human genome, consisting of some 3 billion bases, to fit within its relatively miniscule cellular accommodations if not for the help of a family of very critical DNA-interacting proteins.  Histones are the primary protein constituent of chromatin, forming complexes with DNA to compact our rather expansive genetic material for efficient nuclear organization.  But make no mistake, these protein “spools” are not merely packaging units [more…]

Study Reveals How Epigenetic Changes Allow Pioneer TFs to Access DNA

July 11, 2023 Natalie Crowley

Think of DNA as a thread wound around a spool. It’s packed and wrapped around structures called nucleosomes, resembling beads along the thread. This compact packaging provides organization and protection for the DNA. However, in areas where the DNA is densely packed, it can pose a challenge for proteins attempting to reach it. Interestingly, there are certain proteins that possess the remarkable ability to access tightly wound DNA. These proteins, known as pioneer transcription factors, have evolved special mechanisms that [more…]

Reversing Fate: Exploiting Epigenetics to Treat Drug Resistance in Cancer

June 27, 2023 Pamela A. Harvey

All cancerous tumors exhibit these reversible epigenetic changes that could represent novel reprogrammable targets to address drug resistance (1). Recent research published in Communications Biology provides essential information about the specific epigenetic alterations that may be responsible for chemotherapy resistance (2). Drug Resistance in Cancer More than 90% of the mortality caused by cancer can be linked to drug resistance (3). The molecular mechanisms mediating drug resistance in cancerous cells include increased function of enzymes that render drugs ineffective, mutations [more…]

Exposure to Chemicals in Plastics During Development Could Increase the Risk of Autism and Dementia

May 30, 2023 Pamela A. Harvey

Associations between prenatal exposure to chemicals like endocrine disruptors found in plastics and the development of neurological diseases later in life have been well described (1). Although mechanisms have been proposed for how endocrine disruptors affect human health (2), those mediating the development of neurological conditions like autism and dementia have been difficult to elucidate because of the multifactorial nature of these diseases. Researchers, therefore, considered the issue through a new lens: inherited  DNA methylation patterns. Bisphenols and phthalates are [more…]

Histone mimicry: How a SARS-CoV-2 protein functions as an H3 mimic to disrupt host cell epigenetic regulation

January 3, 2023 Mike Spelios

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first recognized at the beginning of 2020 and is responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The persistence of the virus has been partly accredited to its effective suppression of host cell responses.  As such, continued research in elucidating the dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle is essential to facilitate the design and development of novel diagnostics and suitable therapies.  Although reports suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can dysregulate the host’s gene expression and innate [more…]

m6A Editing: Harnessing CRISPR-Cas for Programmable RNA Modification

November 8, 2022 Mike Spelios

“The fifth RNA base” N6-methyladenosine, or m6A, is the most common and abundant eukaryotic RNA modification, accounting for over 80% of all RNA methylation.  It can be found mainly in mRNA, but is also observed in non-coding species like tRNA, rRNA, and miRNA.  Through interactions with various binding proteins called “readers”, m6A affects virtually every facet of ribonucleic acid biology: structure, splicing, localization, translation, stability, and turnover [1].  Aside from this central role in RNA metabolism, m6A is a factor [more…]

Accessing Histone PTMs: Insights Into the Methods Used for Their Assessment

September 27, 2022 Mike Spelios

This article was first published by EpigenTek. In the early 1960s, Vincent G. Allfrey and his colleagues at the Rockefeller Institute (today’s Rockefeller University) demonstrated by way of C14 labeling the incorporation of methyl and acetyl groups into histones.1 The evidence suggested that these chemical additions succeeded protein synthesis, although the means by which they were incorporated as well as the extent of their biological significance were not fully understood at the time. Allfrey’s pioneering work effectively laid the foundation for histone [more…]

The Epigenetics of Antifungal Resistance

July 19, 2022 Adam Alonzi

Decades of antibiotic and antifungal use have dramatically impacted the global microbiome, with ramifications for agriculture and human health. Worries are mounting but no systematic plans of action are forthcoming. Though that is not to say there are no slivers of hope. While they are still largely confined to immunocompromised patients, fungal infections are a looming public health crisis. Invasive candidiasis is increasingly caused by multidrug-resistant non-albicans yeasts and nearly 60% of C. parapsilosi sampled in South Africa are now [more…]

3D-Imaging for Epigenetic Changes in the Brain 

March 15, 2022 Natalie Crowley

For centuries, scientists and philosophers have been fascinated with learning about the brain. However, it hasn’t been until the last few decades that we’ve really been able to examine this complex organ in action. One advanced technology that has revolutionized our understanding of the human brain is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While this method has been extremely useful for measuring neural activity, it hasn’t been used to assess gene regulation – that is, until now. The University of Illinois (U [more…]

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