Epigenetics is the science studying changes that occur to the genes due to the biological factors induced by the environment and physiological behaviors. On the contrary to genetic changes, these modifications are not settled in the genome to last. They are not included in the DNA sequence and are reversible. The downstream process of the gene information is changed although the genetic information is the same. The epigenetics modification can alter the way the coded information will be read. Therefore some information will be missing or added. These modifications might be kept through cell division and even between generations. ProteoGenix offers epigenetics products for research use. It includes epigenetics targets and proteins as well as antibodies targeting those proteins, especially related to DNA processing and transcription.
Epigenetics Research area
Among the main modifications in epigenetics, we find, for example, DNA Methylation, Histone modification, Non-coding RNA, RNA modification, chromatin remodeling and dominant nucleoli. In the case of DNA Methylation for example, the gene is bound to a methyl group which may enhance or hinder the binding of transcription machinery. Histone modification, by the addition of methyl groups for example, happen post translation. The shape of the protein might therefore be changed and thus the association or unwinding of the DNA around it. The consequences of one of these modifications will highly depend on the position of the modification and the interaction of the target and proteins like transcription factors that interact with this locus. Epigenetics have been studied in the case of illnesses such as cancers or diabetes in which the alterations can enhance the disease. It is also studied in the case of genomic imprinting, describing the unbalanced consequence for the offspring of epigenetic modification depending on the origin from the father or the mother.
Epigenetic modifications enable the multicellular organism to have differentiated types of cells. The acquired or losses of gene expression are kept from one cell to another during cell division. This phenomenon has been shown in epigenetic assays to differentiate homozygotic twins that acquired modification as they had different experience although their genome and epigenome was the same in the early years.
Epigenetic study methods
The study of epigenetics includes chromatin immunoprecipitation, mutation-sensitive restriction enzymes assays, fluorescent in situ hybridization and bioinformatics.