DNA methylation research had a little something for everyone in 2011. Not only was it linked to cancer, diet, post-traumatic stress, socio-economic status and heritability; but more was learned about 5-hydroxymethylcytosine as well. As if that wasn’t enough, two new cytosine variants, 5-formylcytosine and 5-carboxylcytsosine, joined the party this year too. We can’t wait to see what 2012 brings, but in the meantime here are our favorite DNA methylation pubs from 2011:
Nutrition and DNA Methylation
We all know that dieting doesn’t seem to work for everyone, and now there’s some epigenetic reasons why. A new study found that promoter methylation of key obesity linked genes can predict the success of low-calorie diets.
April 13, 2011 DNA Methylation May be Secret to Dieting Success
DNA Methylation in PTSD
While many people are exposed to traumatic events, only a fraction will develop PTSD. So why does it plague some and not others? The search for genetic and molecular variations involved in PTSD risk has uncovered that DNA methylation may something to do with it.
June 1, 2011 Posttraumatic Stress Risk Altered by DNA Methylation
5-hmC Tissue Distribution
Researchers armed with a new technique, can track 5-hmC not just to the specific tissue it’s holed up in, but also the developmental stage as well.
June 16, 2011 In Search of 5-hmC’s Tissue Whereabouts
5fC and 5caC Cytosine Variants
This paper revealed two new flavors of cytosine that Tet proteins can produce from 5-mC: 5-formylcytosine (5fC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC).
July 25, 2011 5fC and 5caC Found On the Road to Demethylation
DNA Methylation Alters Cancer EPO levels
Even though we all make at least some of the stuff naturally in our tissues, it seems that athletic committees aren’t the only ones hoping to eradicate EPOs use. It seems that many cancers would like to see it banned too—they’ll even methylate the EPO promoter to repress its expression.
July 27, 2011 Cancers Ban Erythropoietin with DNA Methylation
SNPs Attract DNA Methylation
Two recent papers strengthen the case that single-nucleotide variants can act as powerful magnets for DNA methylation.
August 25, 2011 SNPs Display their Methyl Magnetism
Epigenetic info can be stored and passed on through DNA methylation. Changes in that methylation can generate stable “epialleles” that control gene expression, but the rates of those spontaneous changes are still unknown.
September 15, 2011 Epigenetic Instability Passes DNA Methylation Variation on to Heirs
Socio-economics of DNA Methylation
We’ve seen papers suggesting that some epigenetic changes in early life can stick around for decades. Now, researchers find that even socio-economic position (SEP) in childhood is associated with DNA methylation differences many years later.
November 9, 2011 Socio-Economic Status Leaves A Methyl Mark on DNA