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Insight into DNA reprogramming during egg and sperm cell development
Date:12/6/2012

s, a mechanism which has remained elusive for many years. An even more exciting finding is that we have identified regions of DNA that avoid demethylation and are therefore candidates for how environmental information can be transferred from parent to offspring. Interestingly, one of these areas has a link with type 2 diabetes."

Professor Wolf Reik, senior author of the paper, a Group Leader at the Babraham Institute and an associate faculty member at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, added, "Several recent studies in other laboratories have confirmed that environmental information can be transferred from parent to offspring in mammals, for example mice fed a high-fat diet produce offspring with altered metabolic regulation, but it is not known how this occurs. One interesting observation from our study, which backs up work performed elsewhere, is that incomplete removal of methyl groups from DNA occurs more frequently in sperm than egg forming cells, suggesting that fathers have a bigger part to play in epigenetic inheritance than previously thought. This has implications not only for understanding mechanisms of inheritance and development but also our susceptibility to obesity and diseases like diabetes."


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Contact: Dr Anja Drozd
anja.drozd@babraham.ac.uk
44-012-234-96206
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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