Epigenetics has become a prominent area of research within the past decade. This Learning Center provides an overview of epigenetic regulation of gene expression as well as considerations underpinning the research workflow.
Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene function that cannot be attributed to changes to the DNA sequences. These heritable changes are brought about by transcriptional processes and post transcriptional regulators. Epigenetic mechanisms known to have profound effects on controlling gene expression include DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling, and noncoding RNAs such as microRNAs.
- microRNAs are small non-protein coding RNA molecules found in plants, animals and some viruses that can control the target gene expression post transcriptionally. More
- DNA methylation is characterized by the biochemical addition of methyl groups (CH3) to cytosines in cytosine-phosphate-guanosine (CpG) dinucleotides that inhibit transcription factors binding to promoters. More
- Chromatin remodeling involves changes to the complex of histones and DNA packed within the nucleus. The structure of chromatin affects the accessibility of the chromatin and transcriptional activities inside a cell. More