About this Research Topic
Epigenetic changes are changes in the genome that are inherited from one cell generation to another. These changes alter gene expression without any modification of the primary DNA sequence. These epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation and a complex set of post-translational histone modifications including acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, ADP ribosylation, and ubiquitination leading to chromatin remodeling, as well regulation performed by non-coding RNAs. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate the expression of genetic information in a cell-, tissue-, and sex-specific manner as well as control the expression of repetitive elements (RE). These mechanisms are vital not only for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis, but are also critical for normal development. Epigenetic alterations may substantially affect the cellular epigenome, leading to altered gene and RE expression, resulting in genomic instability and the development of pathological states, including cancer.
It is becoming increasingly recognized that epigenetic alterations during development may substantially impact the next generations. Indeed, recent studies demonstrated that modulation over the maternal diet may result in the fetal epigenetic reprogramming and result in numerous pathological states, from obesity to higher predisposition to cancer. In the context of nutrition and epigenetics, the goal is to understand how nutritional factors affect the functioning of genes via molecular mechanisms other than observed in conventional genetics such as mutations and polymorphisms.
This Research Topic will cover the current knowledge on epigenetic mechanisms of transgenerational inheritance and highlight the major challenges and future prospects in this field. We welcome the submission of Original Research and Review articles to this Research Topic.
Keywords: Nutrition, Epigenetics, Trans-generation, Maternal diet, Disease
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