About WDR5 WDR5 is a scaffolding protein essential for assembly of epigenetic
MLL1-associated methyltransferase complexes and proper histone modification, the dysregulation of which is strongly implicated in MLL leukemia.
By detecting differences in small RNA expressions (where the function is not yet determined) and DNA methylation patterns, the researchers have proven that weight loss can change the epigenetic
information men carry in their spermatozoa.
It's just a statistical measure that epigenetic
marks differ between men of opposite sexual orientations.
gene modification has been shown to have very clear effects on the biology of brain processes.
The field of epigenetic
drug discovery is quickly developing and is recognized to be important for understanding not only cancer but also many other diseases.
In order to understand the potential role played by environmental exposures and associated epigenetic
modifications in disease processes, it will be critical to understand their functional effects on gene and protein expression, Fry says.
Professor Godfrey comments: "Development in the womb can in some ways be likened to an orchestra, in which genes are the instruments and epigenetic
changes are the musicians who determine the sound that is heard, or the baby that is formed.
We used to think that cancer was caused mainly by mutations of genes, but we now believe that epigenetic
aberrations are responsible for more than half of cancer cases," says Trygve Tollefsbol, who is senior scientist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Environmental factors, including toxic agents and drugs, can exert some of their harmful effects by altering normal epigenetic
patterns, leading to abnormal expression or silencing of essential genes and their encoded proteins.
Histone post-translational changes represent the second type of epigenetic
Birgitte Lane, Executive Director of IMB, said, "Understanding the role of differential epigenetic
modificationsis important for the study of human diseases and development.
Prof Caroline Relton, senior lecturer in epigenetic
epidemiology at Newcastle University, who led the work said: "We were looking at the epigenetic
patterns, the regulatory marks on genes.