Attacking Aging with TAC: A TERT Activator Compound
EpiGenie
by Katie Cottingham
1w ago
Aching joints and wrinkled skin are an unwelcome part of aging, but in the future, you might be able to avoid arthritis medications and cosmetic procedures by getting a shot of TERT activator compound (TAC). A young-at-heart team identified this small molecule, which increases transcription of a telomerase subunit called TERT. The upshot is that a little TAC leads to more youthful human and mouse cells, as well as adult mice with more spring in their step.   Mutations in telomerase components can lead to premature aging but forcing expression of a telomerase subunit called TERT (telomeras ..read more
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A CHARMing Epigenetic Editor Enchants Endogenous DNA Methylation Machinery to Pause Prion Disease
EpiGenie
by Stuart P. Atkinson
1w ago
While George Clooney or Cate Blanchett exude a degree of charm, a captivating new epigenetic advance may outdo them both! A new study now describes a compact epigenetic editor known as “CHARM” that engages the cell’s own DNA methylation machinery to stop a fatal neurodegenerative disease in its tracks. A charismatic crew guided by Sonia M. Vallabh and Jonathan S. Weissman knew that removing the troublesome, misfolded prion protein from neurons protected against neurodegenerative disease progression. Therefore, they sought to develop an epigenetic editing technology that could turn off prion ge ..read more
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CfDNA Methylation Analysis Captures the Double Trouble of Inflammaging!
EpiGenie
by Stuart P. Atkinson
3w ago
Analyzing cell-free (cf)DNA methylation from liquid biopsies represents a non-invasive approach to profile various diseases, but what if it could help us understand the devious duo of inflammaging – aging and inflammation? A talented team has dealt with this “double trouble” by applying enzymatic methyl-seq (EM-seq) to evaluate cfDNA methylation patterns. Researchers headed by Jian-Ping Cai (Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College) knew that cfDNA parameters change with age and thus sought to characterize alterations to methylation during inflammaging, a process ch ..read more
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Epigenome Editing Modules Team Up to Cut Through Gene Regulatory Chaos
EpiGenie
by Katie Cottingham
3w ago
Sometimes an indirect approach can give a direct answer. For example, two recent papers use dCas9 based epigenome editing to cut through gene regulatory mechanisms. No cutting required.  These epigenomic editing toolkits use single-cell readouts to provide a clearer story of how our favorite chromatin modifications and enhancers do their jobs. Mixing and Matching Modifications with Modules   Determining whether modifications act directly or indirectly to affect transcription has been complicated. To get a better handle on cause-and-effect, as well as quantitative data, Jamie Hackett ..read more
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Mitochondrial tRNAs as Epigenetic Memories of Sperm’s Epididymal Road Trip
EpiGenie
by Stuart P. Atkinson
3w ago
If Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that a road trip during our younger years can leave enduring memories that influence our adult lives. Now, a “blockbuster” study reveals that environmental pressures during maturation in the epididymis endow spermatozoa with “epigenetic” memories that influence offspring health via the intergenerational epigenetic inheritance of tRNAs. Researchers “driven” by Raffaele Teperino (Helmholtz Zentrum München) knew that spermatozoa transfer small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs) to oocytes to influence offspring/adult phenotypes. They sought to explore if environme ..read more
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DNA Methylation Differences in Imprinting Control Regions Contribute to Ethnic Disparities in Alzheimer’s Disease Risk
EpiGenie
by Stuart P. Atkinson
1M ago
Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) patients have a two-fold higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than non-Hispanic White (NHW) patients for unknown reasons; now, a fascinating epigenetics study reveals the involvement of DNA methylation at imprinting control regions (ICRs). Researchers headed by Randy L. Jirtle and Cathrine Hoyo (North Carolina State University) explored ethnic variation in disease prevalence through an analysis of potentially aberrant DNA methylation patterns at ICRs after whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of samples from the brains of affected patients and matched controls. W ..read more
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G4-DNA: How an Unforgettable DNA Structure Regulates Gene Expression and Memory
EpiGenie
by Stuart P. Atkinson
1M ago
The Eiffel Tower may live long in the memory, and La Sagrada Familia will be remembered for eons (when they finish it!), but can any structure truly rival DNA? Now, a new study describes how one of DNA’s many unforgettablestructural forms – G-quadruplex DNA (G4-DNA) – helps to regulate the gene expression profiles controlling fear extinction memory. Researchers guided by Paul Marshall (now a group leader at the Australian National University) in the laboratory of Timothy W. Bredy (Queensland Brain Institute) previously discovered an association between neural activity and conformationally left ..read more
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EBook: DNA Methylation 2024
EpiGenie
by Mason Brooks
2M ago
DNA methylation, whether in cells or in a cell-free environment, is one of the most powerful and most studied epigenetic regulators of gene expression and genomic organization. This is true for nearly all organisms, leading to the emergence of numerous methods for mapping 5-mC and 5-hmC and other modification states. There are many approaches for studying DNA methylation, with new mechanisms of action being published as quickly as we can keep up, along with streamlined and potentially more cost-effective means of analysis. Here we take a look at some particularly interesting recent publication ..read more
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Epigenetics Alone Can Drive Cancer—No Mutations Needed
EpiGenie
by Katie Cottingham
2M ago
Epigenetics has moved into the driver’s seat. In a first-of-its-kind study, a talented team show that knocking down polycomb group proteins in Drosophila causes tumors to form, and bringing the proteins back doesn’t fix it. The finding demonstrates that transient epigenetic changes can irreversibly drive cancer—without genetic mutations.   Although we’ve suspected that epigenetic mechanisms could take the wheel, no one had shown it for sure. So, Anne-Marie Martinez and Giacomo Cavalli’s labs at CNRS (France), with collaborators at various institutions, shifted their experiments into high ..read more
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Non-linear Alterations in DNA Methylation Provides Evidence of Aging in Stages!
EpiGenie
by Stuart P. Atkinson
2M ago
Certain concepts – the speed of light, the electron’s charge, or the need to change cell media at the weekend – represent common constants in life. Many add the constant decay associated with the aging process to this list; however, analysis of DNA methylation in the mouse intestine now reveals that the aging process may not be as “linear” as once thought and that we may age in stages! Regularly remarkable researchers led by Christoph Kaleta, Christiane Frahm, and Steve Hoffmann (Leibniz Institute on Aging) appreciated studies at proteomic, transcriptomic, and tissue levels reporting “non-line ..read more
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