Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society Impact Factor & Information

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Journal description

Epigenetics is a new peer-reviewed journal available in print and online. This multidisciplinary journal publishes original research articles and reviews covering the latest aspects of epigenetic mechanisms and their regulation of diverse biological processes. The goal is to foster communication and rapid exchange of information through timely publication of important results using traditional as well as electronic formats. The overriding criteria for publication in Epigenetics are originality, scientific merit and general interest. The official journal of the Epigenetics Society.

Current impact factor: 5.11

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2013 / 2014 Impact Factor 5.108
2012 Impact Factor 4.92
2011 Impact Factor 4.318
2010 Impact Factor 4.622
2009 Impact Factor 4.584

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 0.00
Cited half-life 2.30
Immediacy index 0.68
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 1.85
Website Epigenetics website
Other titles Epigenetics (Online), Epigenetics
ISSN 1559-2308
OCLC 62511506
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Some individual journals may have policies prohibiting pre-print archiving
    • On author's personal website or departmental website immediately
    • On institutional repository or subject-based repository after either 12 months embargo
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On a non-profit server
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set statements to accompany deposits (see policy)
    • The publisher will deposit in on behalf of authors to a designated institutional repository including PubMed Central, where a deposit agreement exists with the repository
    • STM: Science, Technology and Medicine
    • Publisher last contacted on 25/03/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Taylor & Francis'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: African Americans are at increased risk for spontaneous preterm birth (PTB). Though PTB is heritable, genetic studies have not identified variants that account for its intergenerational risk, prompting the hypothesis that epigenetic factors may also contribute. The objective of this study was to evaluate DNA methylation from maternal leukocytes to identify patterns specific to PTB and its intergenerational risk. DNA from peripheral leukocytes from African American women that delivered preterm (24-34 weeks; N=16) or at term (39-41 weeks; N=24) was assessed for DNA methylation using the HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. In maternal samples, 17,829 CpG sites associated with PTB, but no CpG site remained associated after correction for multiple comparisons. Examination of paired maternal-fetal samples identified 5,171 CpG sites in which methylation of maternal samples correlated with methylation of her respective fetus (FDR<0.05). These correlated sites were enriched for association with PTB in maternal leukocytes. The majority of correlated CpG sites could be attributed to one or more genetic variants. They were also significantly more likely to be in genes involved in metabolic, cardiovascular, and immune pathways, suggesting a role for genetic and environmental contributions to PTB risk and chronic disease. The results of this study may provide insight into the factors underlying intergenerational risk for PTB and its consequences.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/15592294.2015.1062964
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    ABSTRACT: Altered placental function as a consequence of aberrant imprinted gene expression may be one mechanism mediating the association between low birth weight and increased cardiometabolic disease risk. Imprinted gene expression is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms, particularly DNA methylation (5mC) at differentially methylated regions (DMRs). While 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) is also present at DMRs, many techniques do not distinguish between 5mC and 5hmC. Using human placental samples, we show that the expression of the imprinted gene CDKN1C associates with birth weight. Using specific techniques to map 5mC and 5hmC at DMRs controlling the expression of CDKN1C and the imprinted gene IGF2, we show that 5mC enrichment at KvDMR and DMR0, and 5hmC enrichment within the H19 gene body, associate positively with birth weight. Importantly, the presence of 5hmC at imprinted DMRs may complicate the interpretation of DNA methylation studies in placenta; future studies should consider using techniques that distinguish between, and permit quantification of, both modifications.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/15592294.2015.1062963
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    ABSTRACT: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of blindness in the western world. While genetic studies have linked both common and rare variants in genes involved in regulation of the complement system to increased risk of development of AMD, environmental factors, such as smoking and nutrition, can also significantly affect the risk of developing the disease and the rate of disease progression. Since epigenetics has been implicated in mediating, in part, the disease risk associated with some environmental factors, we investigated a possible epigenetic contribution to AMD. We performed genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of blood from AMD patients and controls. No differential methylation site reached genome-wide significance; however, when epigenetic changes in and around known GWAS-defined AMD risk loci were explored, we found small but significant DNA methylation differences in the blood of neovascular AMD patients near age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 (ARMS2), a top-ranked GWAS locus preferentially associated with neovascular AMD. The methylation level of one of the CpG sites significantly correlated with the genotype of the risk SNP rs10490924, suggesting a possible epigenetic mechanism of risk. Integrating genome-wide DNA methylation analysis of retina samples with and without AMD together with blood samples, we further identified a consistent, replicable change in DNA methylation in the promoter region of protease serine 50 (PRSS50). These methylation changes may identify sites in novel genes that are susceptible to non-genetic factors known to contribute to AMD development and progression.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/15592294.2015.1060388
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    ABSTRACT: Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is an imprinting disorder that can be prenatally suspected or diagnosed based on established clinical guidelines. Molecular confirmation is commonly performed on amniocytes. The possibility to use fresh (CVF) and cultured (CVC) chorionic villi has never been investigated. To verify whether CVF and CVC are reliable sources of DNA to study fetal methylation, we used pyrosequencing to test the methylation level of a number of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of several imprinted loci (ICR1, ICR2, H19, PWS/AS-ICR, GNASXL, GNAS1A, ZAC/PLAGL1, and MEST) and of non-imprinted MGMT and RASSF1A promoters. We analyzed these regions in 19 healthy pregnancies and highlighted stable methylation levels between CVF and CVC at ICR1, ICR2, GNASXL, PWS/AS-ICR, and MEST. Conversely, the methylation levels of H19 promoter, GNAS1A and ZAC/PLAGL1 were different in CVC compared to fresh CV. We also investigated ICR1 and ICR2 methylation level at CVF/CVC of two BWS-suspected fetuses (P1 and P2). P1 showed ICR2 hypomethylation, P2 showed normal methylation at both ICR1 and ICR2. Our findings, although limited to one case of BWS fetus with an imprinting defect, can suggest that ICR1 and ICR2, but not H19, could be reliable targets for prenatal BWS diagnosis by methylation test in CV and, also, after culture. In addition, PWS/AS-ICR, GNASXL, and MEST, but not GNAS1A and ZAC/PLAGL1, are steadily hemimethylated in CV from healthy pregnancies, independently from culture. Thus, prenatal investigation of genomic imprinting in CV needs to be validated in a locus-specific manner.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/15592294.2015.1057383
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    ABSTRACT: Prenatal exposure to neurotoxicants such as Lead (Pb) may cause stable changes in the DNA methylation (5mC) profile of the fetal genome. However few studies have examined its effect on the DNA de-methylation pathway, specifically the dynamic changes of the 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) profile. Therefore, in this study, we investigate the relationship between Pb exposure and 5mC and 5hmC modifications during early development. To study the changes in the 5hmC profile, we use a novel modification of the Infinium™ Human methylation 450K assay (Illumina, Inc.), which we named HMeDIP-450K assay, in an in vitro human embryonic stem cell model of Pb-exposure. We model Pb-exposure associated 5hmC changes as clusters of correlated, adjacent CpG sites, which are co-responding to Pb. We further extend our study to look at Pb-dependent changes in high density 5hmC regions in umbilical cord blood DNA from 48 mother-infant pairs from the Early Life Exposure in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants (ELEMENT) cohort. For our study, we randomly selected UCB from 24 male and 24 female children from the 1st and 4th quartiles of Pb levels. Our data show that Pb-associated changes in the 5hmC and 5mC profiles can be divided into sex-dependent and sex-independent categories. Interestingly, differential 5mC sites are better markers of Pb-associated sex-dependent changes compared to differential 5hmC sites. In this study we identified several 5hmC and 5mC genomic loci, which we believe might have some potential as early biomarkers of prenatal Pb-exposure.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/15592294.2015.1050172
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: DNA methylation plays an important role in disease etiology. The Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 (450 K) BeadChip is a widely used platform in large-scale epidemiologic studies. This platform can efficiently and simultaneously measure methylation levels at ˜480,000 CpG sites in the human genome in multiple study samples. Due to the intrinsic chip design of two types of chemistry probes, data normalization or preprocessing is a critical step to consider before data analysis. To date, numerous methods and pipelines have been developed for this purpose, and some studies have been conducted to evaluate different methods. However, validation studies have often been limited to a small number of CpG sites to reduce the variability in technical replicates. In this study, we measured methylation on a set of samples using both whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) and 450 K chips. We used WGBS data as a gold standard of true methylation states in cells to compare the performances of eight normalization methods for 450 K data on a genome-wide scale. Analyses on our dataset indicate that the most effective methods are peak-based correction (PBC) and quantile normalization plus β-mixture quantile normalization (QN.BMIQ). To our knowledge, this is the first study to systematically compare existing normalization methods for Illumina 450 K data using novel WGBS data. Our results provide a benchmark reference for the analysis of DNA methylation chip data, particularly in white blood cells.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/15592294.2015.1057384
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    ABSTRACT: Amphetamine and methamphetamine addiction is described by specific behavioral alterations, suggesting long-lasting changes in gene and protein expression within specific brain subregions involved in the reward circuitry. Given the persistence of the addiction phenotype at both behavioral and transcriptional levels, several studies have been conducted to elucidate the epigenetic landscape associated with persistent effects of drug use on the mammalian brain. This review discusses recent advances in our comprehension of epigenetic mechanisms underlying amphetamine- or methamphetamine-induced behavioral, transcriptional, and synaptic plasticity. Accumulating evidence demonstrated that drug exposure induces major epigenetic modifications-histone acetylation and methylation, DNA methylation-in a very complex manner. In rare instances, however, the regulation of a specific target gene can be correlated to both epigenetic alterations and behavioral abnormalities. Work is now needed to clarify and validate an epigenetic model of addiction to amphetamines. Investigations that include genome-wide approaches will accelerate the speed of discovery in the field of addiction.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 05/2015; DOI:10.1080/15592294.2015.1055441
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    ABSTRACT: Several signaling pathways important for the proliferation and growth of brain cells are pathologically dysregulated in gliomas, including the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Expression of EGFR is high in neural progenitors during development and in gliomas but decreases significantly in most adult brain regions. Here we show that EGFR expression is maintained in the astrocyte ribbon of the adult human subventricular zone. The transcriptional regulation of EGFR expression is poorly understood. To investigate the role of epigenetics on EGFR regulation in the contexts of neural development and gliomagenesis, we measured levels of DNA methylation and histone H3 modifications at the EGFR promoter in human brain tissues, glioma specimens, and EGFR-expressing neural cells, acutely isolated from their native niche. While DNA was constitutively hypomethylated in non-neoplastic and glioma samples, regardless of their EGFR-expression status, the activating histone modifications H3K27ac and H3K4me3 were enriched only when EGFR is highly expressed (developing germinal matrix and gliomas). Conversely, repressive H3K27me3 marks predominated in adult white matter where EGFR is repressed. Furthermore, the histone methyltransferase core enzyme ASH2L was bound at EGFR in the germinal matrix and in gliomas where levels of H3K4me3 are high, and the histone acetyltransferase P300 was bound in samples with H3K27ac enrichment. Our studies use human cells and tissues undisturbed by cell-culture artifact, and point to an important, locus-specific role for chromatin remodeling in EGFR expression in human neural development that may be dysregulated during gliomagenesis, unraveling potential novel targets for future drug therapy.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 05/2015; 10(6):1-12. DOI:10.1080/15592294.2015.1042645
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant DNA methylation is known to occur in cancer, including hematological malignancies such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, less is known about whether specific methylation profiles characterize specific subcategories of AML. We examined this issue by using comprehensive high-throughput array-based relative methylation analysis (CHARM) to compare methylation profiles among patients in different AML cytogenetic risk groups. We found distinct profiles in each group, with the high-risk group showing overall increased methylation compared with low- and mid-risk groups. The differentially methylated regions (DMRs) distinguishing cytogenetic risk groups of AML were enriched in the CpG island shores. Specific risk-group associated DMRs were located near genes previously known to play a role in AML or other malignancies, such as MN1, UHRF1, HOXB3, and HOXB4, as well as TRIM71, the function of which in cancer is not well characterized. These findings were verified by quantitative bisulfite pyrosequencing and by comparison with results available at the TCGA cancer genome browser. To explore the potential biological significance of the observed methylation changes, we correlated our findings with gene expression data available through the TCGA database. The results showed that decreased methylation at HOXB3 and HOXB4 was associated with increased gene expression of both HOXB genes specific to the mid-risk AML, while increased DNA methylation at DCC distinctive to the high-risk AML was associated with increased gene expression. Our results suggest that the differential impact of cytogenetic changes on AML prognosis may, in part, be mediated by changes in methylation.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 05/2015; 10(6). DOI:10.1080/15592294.2015.1048060
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    ABSTRACT: Neurofilament heavy polypeptide (NEFH) has recently been identified as a candidate DNA hypermethylated gene within the functional breast cancer hypermethylome. NEFH exists in a complex with neurofilament medium polypeptide (NEFM) and neurofilament light polypeptide (NEFL) to form neurofilaments, which are structural components of the cytoskeleton in mature neurons. Recent studies reported the deregulation of these proteins in several malignancies, suggesting that neurofilaments may have a role in other cell types as well. Using a comprehensive approach, we studied the epigenetic inactivation of neurofilament genes in breast cancer and the functional significance of this event. We report that DNA methylation-associated silencing of NEFH, NEFL, and NEFM in breast cancer is frequent, cancer-specific, and correlates with clinical features of disease progression. DNA methylation-mediated inactivation of these genes occurs also in multiple other cancer histologies including pancreas, gastric, and colon. Restoration of NEFH function, the major subunit of the neurofilament complex, reduces proliferation and growth of breast cancer cells and arrests them in Go/G1 phase of the cell cycle along with a reduction in migration and invasion. These findings suggest that DNA methylation-mediated silencing of the neurofilament genes NEFH, NEFM, and NEFL are frequent events that may contribute to the progression of breast cancer and possibly other malignancies.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 05/2015; DOI:10.1080/15592294.2015.1050173
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    ABSTRACT: The proto-oncogene c-Jun plays crucial roles in tumorigenesis, and its aberrant expression has been implicated in many cancers. Previous studies have shown that the c-Jun gene is positively autoregulated by its product. Notably, it has also been reported that c-Jun proteins are enriched in its gene body region. However, the role of c-Jun proteins in its gene body region has yet to be uncovered. HP1a is an evolutionarily conserved heterochromatin-associated protein, which plays an essential role in heterochromatin-mediated gene silencing. Interestingly, accumulating evidence shows that HP1a is also localized to euchromatic regions to positively regulate gene transcription. However, the underlying mechanism has not been defined. In this study, we demonstrate that HP1a is involved in the positive autoregulatory loop of the Jra gene, the c-Jun homologue in Drosophila. Jra recruits the HP1a/KDM4A complex to its gene body region upon osmotic stress to reduce H3K36 methylation levels and disrupt H3K36 methylation-dependent histone deacetylation, resulting in high levels of histone acetylation in the Jra gene body region, thus promoting gene transcription. These results not only expand our knowledge towards the mechanism of c-Jun regulation, but also reveal the mechanism by which HP1a exerts its positive regulatory function in gene expression.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 05/2015; 10(6). DOI:10.1080/15592294.2015.1048059