Epigenomics

Definition

Epigenomics is the systematic analysis of the global state of gene expression not attributable to mutational changes in the underlying DNA genome. An organism has multiple, cell type-specific, epigenomes comprising epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation, histone modification and specifically positioned nucleosomes.

Featured

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Editorial |

    This issue highlights a range of genetic techniques and cell biological models required to begin to understand the levels of long-range regulation of gene expression as it occurs during cell differentiation. Explanations based on the specificity of covalent modifications and binding interactions intersect with evidence for conjectured mechanisms of topological loop creation and maintenance by transcription and motile protein activities.

  • News and Views |

    Regulation of epigenetic factors through their recruitment to specific genomic regions is still poorly understood. A recent study demonstrates a global mechanism of tethering Polycomb group (PcG) proteins through sequence-specific DNA-binding factors.

    • Eduardo March
    •  & Sara Farrona
    Nature Genetics 49, 1416–1417
  • News and Views |

    The functional role of repetitive elements in mammalian genomes is still largely unexplored. A new study provides evidence that LINE-1 retrotransposons regulate chromatin dynamics and are essential for normal embryonic development in mice.

    • Edward J Grow
    Nature Genetics 49, 1418–1419
  • News and Views |

    New genomic maps reveal that R-loop structures formed upon hybridization of nascent RNA transcripts to the DNA template are a common characteristic of Arabidopsis chromatin that may have a broad impact on gene expression.

    • Frédéric Chédin
    Nature Plants 3, 692–693
  • Editorial |

    This month's research articles span the range of scales of gene-regulatory mechanisms, from a deceptively simple gene therapy vector, via synthetic gene expression circuits, to extremely intricate epigenetic switches. We encourage investigation of synthetic circuits exploring the functions of the 3D genome.