About this Research Topic
In addition to DNA methylation and histone modification, other epigenetic mechanisms, such as non-coding RNA molecules and chromatin remodeling complexes, also contribute to the regulation of gene expression during organogenesis.
Although epigenetic marks are heritable changes to DNA, they can be influenced by a variety of internal and external factors, including:
- Environmental factors: Exposure to toxins, pollutants, and chemicals in the environment, as well as nutritional factors and stress, can affect epigenetic marks.
- Lifestyle factors: Diet, exercise, sleep, and other lifestyle choices can also affect epigenetic marks.
- Aging: As we age, changes in epigenetic marks occur naturally.
- Genetics: Variations in DNA sequence can influence epigenetic marks and the way genes are expressed.
- Medications: Certain medications can alter epigenetic marks and gene expression.
- Disease: Certain diseases, such as cancer, can be caused by alterations in epigenetic marks.
Understanding these factors and their effects on epigenetics can provide insights into how gene expression is regulated and how it can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes.
Imbalances in epigenetic signals can be causative of diseases, for instance, congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) are responsible for 30-50% of chronic kidney disease cases that require kidney replacement therapy in children, yet only a small fraction of cases can be attributed to genetic abnormalities (5-20%). Epigenetic alterations have emerged as a potential explanation for the developmental abnormalities observed in CAKUT.
Overall, the precise regulation of gene expression by epigenetic mechanisms during organogenesis is critical for ensuring the proper development and function of organs in the body. Dysregulation of these mechanisms can lead to developmental disorders and disease.
This special aims to gather up-to-date knowledge on all aspects of epigenetic mechanisms regulating organogenesis and accepts original research as well as review papers.
Keywords: Epigenetic modification, environmental factors, diet, aging, disease, methylation, histone
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