Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression

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Descripción del Curso

While the human genome sequence has transformed our understanding of human biology, it isn’t just the sequence of your DNA that matters, but also how you use it! How are some genes activated and others are silenced? How is this controlled? The answer is epigenetics.

Epigenetics has been a hot topic for research over the past decade as it has become clear that aberrant epigenetic control contributes to disease (particularly to cancer). Epigenetic alterations are heritable through cell division, and in some instances are able to behave similarly to mutations in terms of their stability. Importantly, unlike genetic mutations, epigenetic modifications are reversible and therefore have the potential to be manipulated therapeutically. It has also become clear in recent years that epigenetic modifications are sensitive to the environment (for example diet), which has sparked a large amount of public debate and research.

This course will give an introduction to the fundamentals of epigenetic control. We will examine epigenetic phenomena that are manifestations of epigenetic control in several organisms, with a focus on mammals. We will examine the interplay between epigenetic control and the environment and finally the role of aberrant epigenetic control in disease.

All necessary information will be covered in the lectures, and recommended and required readings will be provided. There are no additional required texts for this course. For those interested, additional information can be obtained in the following textbook.

Epigenetics. Allis, Jenuwein, Reinberg and Caparros. Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory Press. ISBN-13: 978-0879697242 | Edition: 1

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