Trans-chromosomal methylation

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Journal Article
Epigenetics, 2012, 7 (8), pp. 800 - 805
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The epigenome plays a vital role in helping to maintain and regulate cell functions in all organisms. Alleles with differing epigenetic marks in the same nucleus do not function in isolation but can interact in trans to modify the epigenetic state of one or both alleles. This is particularly evident when two divergent epigenomes come together in a hybrid resulting in thousands of alterations to the methylome. These changes mainly involve the methylation patterns at one allele being changed to resemble the methylation patterns of the other allele, in processes we have termed trans-chromosomal methylation (TCM) and trans-chromosomal demethylation (TCdM). These processes are primarily modulated by siRNAs and the RNA directed DNA Methylation pathway. Drawing from other examples of transallelic interactions, we describe the process of TCM and TCdM and the effect such changes can have on genome activity. Trans-allelic epigenetic interactions may be a common occurrence in many biological systems. © 2012 Landes Bioscience.
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