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Charting the epigenome
Date:4/17/2008

ry soon we will be able to look and see what kind of compensatory changes are happening and avoid unintended consequences.

Previous studies had found that a subset of smRNAs could direct methylation enzymes to the region of genomic DNA to which they aligned. Overlaying genome-wide methylome and smRNA datasets confirmed increased methylation precisely within the stretch of DNA that matched the sequence of the smRNA. Conversely, heavily methylated smRNA loci tended to spawn more smRNAs.

We looked at a plant genome but our method can be applied to any system, including humans, says Lister. Although the human genome is about 20 times bigger than the genome of Arabidopsis plant biologists favorite model system not least because of its compact genome Ecker predicts that within a year or so, sequencing technology will have advanced far enough to put the 3 billion base pairs of the human genome and their methyl buddies within reach.

This really is just the beginning of unmasking the role of these powerful epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in eukaryotes, says Ecker.


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Contact: Gina Kirchweger
kirchweger@salk.edu
858-453-4100 x1340
Salk Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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1. $10 million gift to support cutting-edge epigenome center at USC
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