Epigenetics reading list

January 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Posted in ReadingList | Leave a comment

Chromatin: Changes in the 3D stucture of DNA is just one epigenetic mechanism for turning genes on and off.

We found the following articles and studies helpful in putting together the January 2010 edition of Health & Environment, focusing on epigenetics.

Features and Reviews

Epigenetics: the science of change. Weinhold, B. (2006) “For nearly a century after the term “epigenetics” first surfaced, [scientists have been] trying to untangle the clues that suggested gene function could be altered by more than just changes in sequence.”

Environmental Exposures and Gene Regulation in Disease Etiology. Edwards, T M and J P Myers. (2007). On the “potential role for [environmentally-]altered DNA methylation in fetal origins of adult disease and inheritance of acquired genetic change.”


Genomic imprinting and environmental disease. Jirtle, R L et al. (2000). “Genomic imprinting plays a critical role in fetal growth and behavioral development, and it is regulated by DNA methylation and chromatin structure.”

Epigenetic differences arise during the lifetime of monozygotic twins. Fraga, M F et al. (2005). “Most monozygotic twin pairs are not identical, [showing] differences in susceptibilities to disease and a wide range of anthropomorphic features… One

is the existence of epigenetic differences.”

Epigenetic transgenerational actions of endocrine disruptors. Anway, M D et al. (2005) Effects of prenatal exposure to vinclozolin “were transferred through the male germ line to nearly all males of all subsequent generations examined.”

Environmental exposure, DNA methylation and gene regulation. Li, S et al. (2003) An “epigenetic mechanism may underlie the observed increased risk in adulthood of several chronic diseases, including cancer, in response to xenobiotic exposures early in life.”

The epigenetic breakdown of cancer cells: from DNA methylation to histone modifications. Ballestar, E and M Ellister. (2005). “The recognition of epigenetic defects in all types of cancer has represented a revolutionary achievement in cancer research in recent years.”

Maternal genistein alters coat color and protects A(vy) mouse off- spring from obesity by modifying the fetal epigenome. Dolinoy, D C et al. (2006). “We provide the first evidence that in utero dietary genistein affects gene expression and alters susceptibility to obesity in adulthood by permanently altering the epigenome.”

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