epigenetics(redirected from Epimutation)
Also found in: Dictionary, Encyclopedia.
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of heritable changes in gene expression that are caused by factors such as DNA methylation rather than by a change in the sequence of base pairs in DNA itself.
Changes in the way genes are expressed that occur without changes in the sequence of nucleic acids. In mammals the most common form of epigenetic change results from methylation (the addition of methyl [-CH3] moieties) to the promoter regions of genes. Although epigenetic changes do not alter the sequence of nucleotides, they are inheritable.