Epigenetics and Bacterial Infections

Institut Pasteur, Unité des Interactions Bactéries-Cellules, Paris F-75015, France.
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine (Impact Factor: 7.56). 12/2012; 2(12). DOI: 10.1101/cshperspect.a010272
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Epigenetic mechanisms regulate expression of the genome to generate various cell types during development or orchestrate cellular responses to external stimuli. Recent studies highlight that bacteria can affect the chromatin structure and transcriptional program of host cells by influencing diverse epigenetic factors (i.e., histone modifications, DNA methylation, chromatin-associated complexes, noncoding RNAs, and RNA splicing factors). In this article, we first review the molecular bases of the epigenetic language and then describe the current state of research regarding how bacteria can alter epigenetic marks and machineries. Bacterial-induced epigenetic deregulations may affect host cell function either to promote host defense or to allow pathogen persistence. Thus, pathogenic bacteria can be considered as potential epimutagens able to reshape the epigenome. Their effects might generate specific, long-lasting imprints on host cells, leading to a memory of infection that influences immunity and might be at the origin of unexplained diseases.

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    ABSTRACT: Studies have demonstrated that epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling are linked to an increased inflammatory response as well as increased risk of chronic disease development. A few studies have begun to investigate whether dietary nutrients play a beneficial role by modifying or reversing epigenetically induced inflammation. Results of these studies show that nutrients modify epigenetic pathways. However, little is known about how nutrients modulate inflammation by regulating immune cell function and/or immune cell differentiation via epigenetic pathways. This overview will provide information about the current understanding of the role of nutrients in the epigenetic control mechanisms of immune function. © 2015 American Society for Nutrition.
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Jun 3, 2014