Epigenetics & Chromatin

Publisher: BioMed Central

Current impact factor: 5.33

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 5.333
2013 Impact Factor 4.462
2012 Impact Factor 4.19
2011 Impact Factor 4.462
2010 Impact Factor 4.731

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 4.63
Cited half-life 2.60
Immediacy index 0.68
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 2.35
Other titles Epigenetics and chromatin
ISSN 1756-8935
OCLC 263688252
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

BioMed Central

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    • All titles are open access journals
    • 'BioMed Central' is an imprint of 'Springer Verlag (Germany)'
  • Classification

Publications in this journal

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The small non-histone protein Heterochromatin protein 1a (HP1a) plays a vital role in packaging chromatin, most notably in forming constitutive heterochromatin at the centromeres and telomeres. A second major chromatin regulating system is that of the Polycomb/trithorax groups of genes which, respectively, maintain the repressed/activated state of euchromatin. Recent analyses suggest they affect the expression of a multitude of genes, beyond the homeotics whose alteration in expression lead to their initial discovery. Our data suggest that early in Drosophila development, HP1a collaborates with the Polycomb/trithorax groups of proteins to regulate gene expression and that the two chromatin systems do not act separately as convention describes. HP1a affects the levels of both the Polycomb complexes and RNA polymerase II at promoters, as assayed by chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis. Deposition of both the repressive (H3K27me3) and activating (H3K4me3) marks promoted by the Polycomb/trithorax group genes at gene promoters is affected. Additionally, depending on which parent contributes the null mutation of the HP1a gene, the levels of the H3K27me3 and H3K9me3 silencing marks at both promoters and heterochromatin are different. Changes in levels of the H3K27me3 and H3K9me3 repressive marks show a mostly reciprocal nature. The time around the mid-blastula transition, when the zygotic genome begins to be actively transcribed, appears to be a transition/decision point for setting the levels. We find that HP1a, which is normally critical for the formation of constitutive heterochromatin, also affects the generation of the epigenetic marks of the Polycomb/trithorax groups of proteins, chromatin modifiers which are key to maintaining gene expression in euchromatin. At gene promoters, deposition of both the repressive H3K27me3 and activating H3K4me3 marks of histone modifications shows a dependence on HP1a. Around the mid-blastula transition, when the zygotic genome begins to be actively transcribed, a pivotal decision for the level of silencing appears to take place. This is also when the embryo organizes its genome into heterochromatin and euchromatin. A balance between the HP1a and Polycomb group silencing systems appears to be set for the chromatin types that each system will primarily regulate.
    Epigenetics & Chromatin 12/2015; 8(1):17. DOI:10.1186/s13072-015-0010-z
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic and epigenetic variability contributes to the susceptibility and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. T cells play an important role in several autoimmune conditions, including lupus, which is more common and more severe in people of African descent. To investigate inherent epigenetic differences in T cells between ethnicities, we characterized genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in naïve CD4+ T cells in healthy African-Americans and European-Americans, and then confirmed our findings in lupus patients. Impressive ethnicity-specific clustering of DNA methylation profiling in naïve CD4+ T cells was revealed. Hypomethylated loci in healthy African-Americans were significantly enriched in pro-apoptotic and pro-inflammatory genes. We also found hypomethylated genes in African-Americans to be disproportionately related to autoimmune diseases including lupus. We then confirmed that these genes, such as IL32, CD226, CDKN1A, and PTPRN2 were similarly hypomethylated in lupus patients of African-American compared to European-American descent. Using patch DNA methylation and luciferase reporter constructs, we showed that methylation of the IL32 promoter region reduces gene expression in vitro. Importantly, bisulfite DNA sequencing demonstrated that cis-acting genetic variants within and directly disrupting CpG sites account for some ethnicity-specific variability in DNA methylation. Ethnicity-specific inherited epigenetic susceptibility loci in CD4+ T cells provide clues to explain differences in the susceptibility to autoimmunity and possibly other T cell-related diseases between populations.
    Epigenetics & Chromatin 12/2015; 8(1). DOI:10.1186/s13072-015-0037-1
  • Phillip George · Silke Jensen · Romain Pogorelcnik · Jiyoung Lee · Yi Xing · Emilie Brasset · Chantal Vaury · Igor V. Sharakhov ·
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    ABSTRACT: Specific genomic loci, termed Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) clusters, manufacture piRNAs that serve as guides for the inactivation of complementary transposable elements (TEs). The piRNA pathway has been accurately detailed in Drosophila melanogaster, while it remains poorly examined in other insects. This pathway is increasingly recognized as critical for germline development and reproduction. Understanding of the piRNA functions in mosquitoes could offer an opportunity for disease vector control by the reduction of their reproductive potential. To analyze the similarities and differences in this pathway between Drosophila and mosquito, we performed an in-depth analysis of the genomic loci producing piRNAs and their targets in the African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. We identified 187 piRNA clusters in the An. gambiae genome and 155 piRNA clusters in the D. melanogaster genome. We demonstrate that many more piRNA clusters in the mosquito compared with the fruit fly are uni-directionally transcribed and are located outside pericentromeric heterochromatin. About 11 % of the An. gambiae piRNA population map to gene transcripts. This is a noticeable increase compared with the ~6 % of the piRNA population mapped to genes in D. melanogaster. A subset of the piRNA-enriched genes in An. gambiae has functions related to reproduction and development. At least 24 and 65 % of the mapped piRNAs correspond to genomic TE sequences in An. gambiae and D. melanogaster, respectively. DNA transposons and non-LTR retrotransposons are more abundant in An. gambiae, while LTR retrotransposons are more abundant in D. melanogaster. Yet, piRNAs predominantly target LTR retrotransposons in both species, which may point to a distinct feature of these elements compared to the other classes of TEs concerning their silencing by the piRNA pathway. Here, we demonstrate that piRNA-producing loci have more ubiquitous distribution in the An. gambiae genome than in the genome of D. melanogaster. Also, protein-coding genes have an increased role in production of piRNAs in the germline of this mosquito. Genes involved in germline and embryonic development of An. gambiae generate a substantial portion of piRNAs, suggesting a role of the piRNA pathway in the epigenetic regulation of the reproductive processes in the African malaria vector.
    Epigenetics & Chromatin 12/2015; 8(1). DOI:10.1186/s13072-015-0041-5

  • Epigenetics & Chromatin 11/2015; 8(48). DOI:10.1186/s13072-015-0042-4
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Tip60 (KAT5) is the histone acetyltransferase (HAT) of the mammalian Tip60/NuA4 complex. While Tip60 is important for early mouse development and mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) pluripotency, the function of Tip60 as reflected in a genome-wide context is not yet well understood. Results: Gel filtration of nuclear mESCs extracts indicate incorporation of Tip60 into large molecular complexes and exclude the existence of large quantities of "free" Tip60 within the nuclei of ESCs. Thus, monitoring of Tip60 binding to the genome should reflect the behaviour of Tip60-containing complexes. The genome-wide mapping of Tip60 binding in mESCs by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) coupled with high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) shows that the Tip60 complex is present at promoter regions of predominantly active genes that are bound by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and contain the H3K4me3 histone mark. The coactivator HAT complexes, Tip60- and Mof (KAT8)-containing (NSL and MSL), show a global overlap at promoters, whereas distinct binding profiles at enhancers suggest different regulatory functions of each essential HAT complex. Interestingly, Tip60 enrichment peaks at about 200 bp downstream of the transcription start sites suggesting a function for the Tip60 complexes in addition to histone acetylation. The comparison of genome-wide binding profiles of Tip60 and c-Myc, a somatic cell reprogramming factor that binds predominantly to active genes in mESCs, demonstrate that Tip60 and c-Myc co-bind at 50-60 % of their binding sites. We also show that the Tip60 complex binds to a subset of bivalent developmental genes and defines a set of mESC-specific enhancer as well as super-enhancer regions. Conclusions: Our study suggests that the Tip60 complex functions as a global transcriptional co-activator at most active Pol II promoters, co-regulates the ESC-specific c-Myc network, important for ESC self-renewal and cell metabolism and acts at a subset of active distal regulatory elements, or super enhancers, in mESCs.
    Epigenetics & Chromatin 11/2015; 8(1):45. DOI:10.1186/s13072-015-0039-z
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The death domain-associated protein (DAXX) collaborates with accessory proteins to deposit the histone variant H3.3 into mouse telomeric and pericentromeric repeat DNA. Pericentromeric repeats are the main genetic contributor to spatially discrete, compact, constitutive heterochromatic structures called chromocentres. Chromocentres are enriched in the H3K9me3 histone modification and serve as integral, functionally important components of nuclear organization. To date, the role of DAXX as an H3.3-specific histone chaperone has been investigated primarily using biochemical approaches which provide genome-wide views on cell populations and information on changes in local chromatin structures. However, the global chromatin and subnuclear reorganization events that coincide with these changes remain to be investigated. Results: Using electron spectroscopic imagine (ESI), a specialized form of energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy that allows us to visualize chromatin domains in situ with high contrast and spatial resolution, we show that in the absence of DAXX, H3K9me3-enriched domains are structurally altered and become uncoupled from major satellite DNA. In addition, the structural integrity of nucleoli and the organization of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) are disrupted. Moreover, the absence of DAXX leads to chromatin that is more sensitive, on a global level, to micrococcal nuclease digestion. Conclusions: We identify a novel role of DAXX as a major regulator of subnuclear organization through the maintenance of the global heterochromatin structural landscape. As well, we show, for the first time, that the loss of a histone chaperone can have severe consequences for global nuclear organization.
    Epigenetics & Chromatin 10/2015; 8(1):44. DOI:10.1186/s13072-015-0036-2
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    ABSTRACT: Background: DNA methylation is important for the maintenance of the silent state of genes on the inactive X chromosome (Xi). Here, we screened for siRNAs and chemicals that reactivate an Xi-linked reporter in the presence of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-2'-dC), an inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase 1, at a concentration that, on its own, is not sufficient for Xi-reactivation. Results: We found that inhibition of ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) induced expression of the reporter. RNR inhibition potentiated the effect of 5-aza-2'-dC by enhancing its DNA incorporation, thereby decreasing DNA methylation levels genome-wide. Since both 5-aza-2'-dC and RNR-inhibitors are used in the treatment of hematological malignancies, we treated myeloid leukemia cell lines with 5-aza-2'-dC and the RNR-inhibitor hydroxyurea, and observed synergistic inhibition of cell growth and a decrease in genome-wide DNA methylation. Conclusions: Taken together, our study identifies a drug combination that enhances DNA demethylation by altering nucleotide metabolism. This demonstrates that Xi-reactivation assays can be used to optimize the epigenetic activity of drug combinations.
    Epigenetics & Chromatin 10/2015; 8(1):42. DOI:10.1186/s13072-015-0034-4
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is associated with a range of physical, cognitive and behavioural outcomes in the offspring which are collectively called foetal alcohol spectrum disorders. We and others have proposed that epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation and post-translational histone modifications, mediate the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on gene expression and, ultimately, phenotype. Here we use an inbred C57BL/6J mouse model of early gestational ethanol exposure equivalent, developmentally, to the first 3-4 weeks of pregnancy in humans to examine the long-term effects on gene expression and epigenetic state in the hippocampus. Results: Gene expression analysis in the hippocampus revealed sex- and age-specific up-regulation of solute carrier family 17 member 6 (Slc17a6), which encodes vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2). Transcriptional up-regulation correlated with decreased DNA methylation and enrichment of histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation, an active chromatin mark, at the Slc17a6 promoter. In contrast to Slc17a6 mRNA levels, hippocampal VGLUT2 protein levels were significantly decreased in adult ethanol-exposed offspring, suggesting an additional level of post-transcriptional control. MicroRNA expression profiling in the hippocampus identified four ethanol-sensitive microRNAs, of which miR-467b-5p was predicted to target Slc17a6. In vitro reporter assays showed that miR-467b-5p specifically interacted with the 3'UTR of Slc17a6, suggesting that it contributes to the reduction of hippocampal VGLUT2 in vivo. A significant correlation between microRNA expression in the hippocampus and serum of ethanol-exposed offspring was also observed. Conclusions: Prenatal ethanol exposure has complex transcriptional and post-transcriptional effects on Slc17a6 (VGLUT2) expression in the mouse hippocampus. These effects are observed following a relatively moderate exposure that is restricted to early pregnancy, modelling human consumption of alcohol before pregnancy is confirmed, and are only apparent in male offspring in adulthood. Our findings are consistent with the idea that altered epigenetic and/or microRNA-mediated regulation of glutamate neurotransmission in the hippocampus contributes to the cognitive and behavioural phenotypes observed in foetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Although further work is needed in both mice and humans, the results also suggest that circulating microRNAs could be used as biomarkers of early gestational ethanol exposure and hippocampal dysfunction.
    Epigenetics & Chromatin 09/2015; 8(1):40. DOI:10.1186/s13072-015-0032-6