About this Research Topic
Transient exposure to specific external cues could have long-lasting effects that persist for decades or even generations. Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and small and long-noncoding RNAs are believed to facilitate these enduring effects. As well as exposures which result in epigenetic change, direct epigenetic interventions through epidrugs, manipulation of the epigenetic apparatus, or cutting-edge epigenetic editing tools can leave a legacy which impacts multiple biological processes. Discoveries in this area are being made in cultured cells as well as whole organisms and even populations. The consequences, either detrimental or beneficial, from unintentional or instructive epigenetic interventions on development and disease are only now starting to emerge.
This Research Topic aims to feature a broad range of research advances on the topic of legacies of epigenetic perturbations. Articles should address the underlying mechanisms and/or long-lasting effects of either intentional or involuntary exposures to external cues affecting the epigenotype in vitro or in vivo. Examples of epigenetic perturbations in vitro include induced stress, exposure to biochemical agents, cellular reprogramming through ectopic expression of transcription factors or cellular adaptation to biomaterials in culture. Particularly relevant are legacies of in vitro-induced epigenetic perturbations in clinical-grade cells aimed to be used for immunotherapy or regenerative medicine. At the level of the whole organism, in vivo perturbations such as gestational under- or over-nutrition, exposure to smoking or heavy metals, or trauma, for example, can have enduring effects later manifested in the form of metabolic, cardiac or neurological disorders. The mechanisms and extent of influence on health in later life or even in future generations is still poorly understood.
Epigenetic legacies can therefore contribute to pathology and provide a challenge for regenerative cellular therapies. However, they also offer therapeutic opportunities. Epigenetic interventions could be developed using a variety of technologies such as epidrugs, manipulation of the epigenetic factors or epigenetic editing with CRISPR/Cas9 technology.
We are mostly looking for Original Research articles. Reviews and commentaries are also welcomed, but should be discussed with editors prior the submission. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include but are not restricted to:
- Consequences of epigenetic defects in cultured cells for disease modeling, regenerative medicine and immunotherapy
- Epigenomic variation caused by different culture conditions, including biomaterials and mechanical forces
- Advances in epigenetic editing
- Epidemiological studies such as Twin, Aging or Longitudinal Studies
- Contribution of epigenetic legacies to disease
- Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.