Chromatin definitely left it’s mark in 2011, making big advances with applications in cancer, stem cell, environmental, and autism research, just to name a few. Check out our favorite chromatin articles from 2011 to help you get ready for what’s coming in 2012.
Histone Harm from Nickel Exposure
It’s been known for a while that nickel-based compounds are linked to cancer and this study aimed to uncover the mechanism that causes exposure to nickel compounds to be so harmful.
April 11, 2011 Nickel Exposure Takes Its Toll Via H3K4me3
Altered Histone Modifiers in Cancer
Looking at the genetic causes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) it was uncovered that several mutant genes that had remained hidden until now, have roles in histone methylation and acetylation.
July 27, 2011 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma’s Trouble with Histone-Modifiers
Potential Chromatin Cancer Therapies
An unbiased RNAi screen looked for new potential cancer targets and found that Brd4 looks like a good target and a small-molecule inhibitor called JQ1 that shows promise as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
August 3, 2011 Targeting Brd4 Fends Off Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Cancer in Stem Cells
Specific miRNA genes found to be disregulated in cancers are actually premarked with a special histone code in ESCs. In other words, some stem cells may be “bad apples” before they even differentiate.
Chromatin Key to Longevity
Researchers found that longevity can be passed down through generations without using DNA sequence to do it. C. elegans worms with certain histone modifications leading to increased longevity were able to pass that long life-span trait to their descendants, even though those chromatin states and resulting gene expression patterns weren’t. Score one point for Lamarck!
October 26, 2011 Epigenetic Fountain of Youth Found in Worms?
Histone Patterns in Autism
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are mostly seen as a range of mental conditions, so researchers focused in on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons of autistic individuals, and mapped their H3K4me3 epigenomes in order to better understand the complex condition.
November 15, 2011 Neuronal Histone Mods in Autism