Introduction to Epigenetics Science

Introduction to Epigenetics Science

What is epigenetics?

The term epigenetic is often used to describe a variety of unexpected patterns of gene regulation.

Chemical modifications of chromosomal DNA and/or structures that change the pattern of gene expression without altering the DNA sequence.

  • Epigenetics: 

Any process that alters gene activity without changing the DNA sequence and leads to modifications that can be transmitted to daughter cells

Or, Gene functions can be altered by more than just change in DNA sequence.

  • Epigenetic trait:

Is a stably heritable phenotype resulting from changes in a chromosome without alterations in the DNA  sequence.

Importance of Epigenetics:

  • Study of evolution

  • Epigenetic drugs to treat various diseases.

  • Cancer treatment: DNA hypomethylation can activate oncogenes and initiate chromosome instability, whereas DNA hypermethylation initiates silencing of tumor suppressor genes.

  • Mental Retardation Disorders

  • Immunity & Related Disorders

  • Neuropsychiatric Disorders.

  • An overall transcriptomic activity of an organism is determined not only by its genetic makeup but also by epigenetic regulations.

Dr. Waleed Abobatta