EpiGenie recently reviewed the epigenetic text book RNA and the Regulation of Gene Expression. Here we give you a small taste of the content found inside with a summary of one of the chapters:
Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression
by Kevin Morris
This chapter outlines the fundamental aspects of epigenetic regulation as it relates to gene expression. It begins with a short introduction of the basic players that take part in epigenetic control (DNA, histones and the histone modification code), and then moves on to describe the connection of epigenetic mechanisms with another fundamental cell process, transcription. To this end, basic principles of gene expression and transcritpion are presented in this section including the different RNA polymerases and stages of transcription as well as basic transcriptional factors.
With that background in mind, Kevin Morris presents a detailed description of different chromatin states (euchromatin, facultative and constitutive heterochromatin) and chromatin modifying enzymes that control transition from one state to another, especially histone deacetylase complexes and histone methyltransferases. Examples of these transitions are provided in a global (X chromosome inactivation, for instance) or more local manner and extensive literature supports the importance of these enzymes in the epigenetic control of gene expression, such as in case of MeCP2 and HDAC 1 and 2.
In addition, a connection of these mechanisms with small RNAs is provided. The chapter wraps up with the presentation of the second basic aspect of epigenetic regulation; DNA methylation. Inheritance of DNA methylation especially in CpG residues via DNA methyltarnsferases is described, which has important implications for the evolution of the cell and suggests selective forces regarding differential methylation of different regions in the genome such as repeat elements and promoters.
**This chapter summary was provided by Angeliki Pantazi, MD, PhD from the Institute of Human Genetics, at the University of Goettingen in Germany.
You can get your own copy of RNA and the Regulation of Gene Expression at the Horizon Press Website.