What is Epigenetics?• epigenetics is the study of inherited changes in phenotype (appearance) or gene expression• Epigenetics means “above genetics.”• There is very little background on epigenetics because it’s a very new field only about 50 years old!
• In the past we thought that a embryos epigenome was completely erased and rebuilt from scratch. This is partially true, some of the epigenetic “tags” remain in place and therefore pass from generation to generation, this is called epigenetic inheritance.
• It means that a parents experiences, in the form of epigenetic tags, can be passed down to future generations.• An example is if you smoked your whole life then youre offspring (children) will have a higher chance of smoking
• The epigenome is like the brain that tells youre cells what to become. Such as eye cells or muscle cells. It doesn’t change youre genes/DNA it just says what genes will be expressed• The genome is like the muscle of the process it carriers out the orders from the Epigenome.
Methyl Group• The methyl group tell youre genome what genes to express. The Methyl binds differently in a skin cell or a eye ball cell and that’s one of the ways a cell knows Im a skin cell or Im an eye ball cell.
Histones• Histones also control epigenetics their like spools that wind the DNA up around them.• The tighter there wound the less of the gene that is expressed or seen.
• Phosphorylation• Acetylation• Methylation-most common method
Step 1 of Methylation• Genome of interest is treated with sodium bisulfite.• Un-methylated cytosine residues are converted to uracil, while methylated cytosine residues are unaffected.
Step 2• PCR Amplification• Bisulfite treated DNA is then PCR amplified, resulting in cytosine residues at originally methylated positions