Epigenomics

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.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    The role of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is still not fully understood. Two new studies advance understanding of this RNA modification. One shows that m6A modification of nascent messenger RNA promotes transcription by recruiting the histone H3 K9 demethylase KDM3B. Another study identifies genetic variants that affect m6A deposition and human disease.

    • Dalen Chan
    •  & Pedro J. Batista
    Nature Genetics 52, 868-869
  • News and Views |

    Binding of RNA to the gene expression regulator Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) has been proposed to antagonize PRC2’s chromatin recruitment. A new study now shows that RNA is in fact critical for correct recruitment of PRC2 at its target genes in human pluripotent stem cells and suggests that interplay of PRC2 and RNA can fine-tune PRC2’s regulatory role.

    • Ivano Mocavini
    •  & Luciano Di Croce
    Nature Genetics 52, 866-867
  • Research Highlights |

    A recent study combines CRISPR-based perturbation with single-cell RNA sequencing to characterize the roles of epigenome regulator proteins in controlling cell fate and identity during embryonic development.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlights |

    A study in Cell introduces memory sequencing (MemorySeq), a method for identifying genes that are highly and heritably expressed over multiple cell divisions. These expression patterns can reveal cellular subpopulations with distinct phenotypes, such as drug resistance.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • Research Highlights |

    Epigenetic clocks translate the DNA methylome into a biological age but usually work only within a species. Now, a study in Cell Systems reports a cross-species epigenetic clock that works across a number of mammals, including humans, dogs and mice.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • News and Views |

    TET2 and DNMT3A mutations lead to similar long-term outcomes in blood cancers despite the antagonistic biochemical functions of their encoded proteins. A new study highlights the opposing effects of TET2 and DNMT3A mutations in shaping the early erythroid or myeloid bias of hematopoietic progenitors.

    • Isaac F. López-Moyado
    •  & Anjana Rao
    Nature Genetics 52, 554-556