Epigenetics

Topics: DNA, Gene, Gene expression Pages: 4 (728 words) Published: July 21, 2013
Epigenetic control of gene expression
Marnie Blewitt

1. Introduction to epigenetic control

Single cell fertilised egg 1 cell type

Mouse embryo Hundreds of cell types

How does the same genetic information in every cell lead to so many different cell types, with each of their specialist functions?

Single cell fertilised egg 1 cell type

Mouse embryo Hundreds of cell types

Scientists used the term epigenetics to represent the extra layer of information in addition to the genetic information which must be present to enable differentiation and development.

Single cell fertilised egg 1 cell type

Mouse embryo Hundreds of cell types

Each cell type is defined by the genes that are expressed in that cell. Gene expression DNA è RNA è protein

Single cell fertilised egg 1 cell type

Neuron Haemoglobin Dopamine + Myoglobin -

Red blood cells Haemoglobin + Dopamine Myoglobin -

Each cell type only expresses a restricted subset of genes.

Muscle cells Haemoglobin Dopamine Myoglobin +

Single cell fertilised egg 1 cell type

Neuron Haemoglobin Dopamine + Myoglobin -

Red blood cells Haemoglobin + Dopamine Myoglobin -

How are only a restricted subset of genes expressed in each cell type? •  •  Activity of transcription factors specific for each cell lineage. Epigenetic marks applied to the DNA. Muscle cells Haemoglobin Dopamine Myoglobin +

Epigenetic modifications can be considered as the punctuation marks in the genome.

Language is a string of 26 letters.

Epigenetic modifications can be considered as the punctuation marks in the genome.

epigeneticmodificationscanbeconsideredasthepunctuationmarksinthegenome

epigeneticmodificationscanbeconsideredasthepunctuationmarksinthegenome alackofpriorknowledgemakesthechallengegreater

epigeneticmodificationscanbeconsideredasthepunctuationmarksinthegenome alackofpriorknowledgemakesthechallengegreater

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