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Epigenetic regulation works together “in an elegant way”?

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From ScienceDaily:

New findings published in eLife draw connections between some of these pieces, revealing an extensive web of molecular interactions that may ultimately inform the development of new epigenetic drugs for cancer and other diseases. Specifically, the study reveals a mechanism that helps explain how dividing cells pass patterns of epigenetic information called methyl tags to their daughter cells, a crucial part of regulating gene expression across cell generations.

Epigenetic tags help tell genes — stretches of DNA that act as biological instruction manuals — when to switch “on” and “off,” ultimately determining cell type and function. DNA methylation, or the addition of methyl tags to DNA, is one of the most well-studied epigenetic signals; errors in this process are commonly found in cancer.

“Many of the key players orchestrating DNA methylation had previously been characterized, but what we didn’t fully realize before this study is that they all work together in an elegant way,” said Scott Rothbart, Ph.D., assistant professor at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) and the study’s senior author. “These new insights into the complexities of epigenetic regulation are contributing to our basic understanding of this process in human health and disease and gives us new vision for how to go about targeting errors in DNA methylation with innovative drug therapies.” More. Paper. (public access) – Joseph S Harrison, Evan M Cornett, Dennis Goldfarb, Paul A DaRosa, Zimeng M Li, Feng Yan, Bradley M Dickson, Angela H Guo, Daniel V Cantu, Lilia Kaustov, Peter J Brown, Cheryl H Arrowsmith, Dorothy A Erie, Michael B Major, Rachel E Klevit, Krzysztof Krajewski, Brian Kuhlman, Brian D Strahl, Scott B Rothbart. Hemi-methylated DNA regulates DNA methylation inheritance through allosteric activation of H3 ubiquitylation by UHRF1. eLife, 2016; 5 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.17101

See also: Epigenetics: Altered gene expression in kids born to overweight women Researcher: “Your risk of chronic diseases isn’t set in stone at birth; there are many different periods in which your lifelong disease risk can be modulated.”


Epigenetic change: Lamarck, wake up, you’re wanted in the conference room!

Andre @1:
But Prof Moran says evolution is messy!
Yes, of course it's messy. The authors of the paper News referenced in this OP are probably ID proponents or Creationists who don't understand evolution. :) We assume that most evidences point to a messy stuff that we believe resulted from gazillion years of trial and error on a bunch of random mutations with the help of the powerful natural selection and maybe a few tricks Superman's parents packed along with him before planet Krypton exploded. They paid for the expensive shipment to Earth using the moneys they got from the sale of their oceanfront mansion in Salzburg. :) Dionisio
This quote,,,
“Many of the key players orchestrating DNA methylation had previously been characterized, but what we didn’t fully realize before this study is that they all work together in an elegant way,” said Scott Rothbart, Ph.D.,
,,, Reminds me of this article,,
William Bialek: More Perfect Than We Imagined - March 23, 2013 Excerpt: photoreceptor cells that carpet the retinal tissue of the eye and respond to light, are not just good or great or phabulous at their job. They are not merely exceptionally impressive by the standards of biology, with whatever slop and wiggle room the animate category implies. Photoreceptors operate at the outermost boundary allowed by the laws of physics, which means they are as good as they can be, period. Each one is designed to detect and respond to single photons of light — the smallest possible packages in which light comes wrapped. “Light is quantized, and you can’t count half a photon,” said William Bialek, a professor of physics and integrative genomics at Princeton University. “This is as far as it goes.” … Scientists have identified and mathematically anatomized an array of cases where optimization has left its fastidious mark, among them;,, the precision response in a fruit fly embryo to contouring molecules that help distinguish tail from head;,,, In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants. http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2013/03/william-bialek-more-perfect-than-we.html
,, and also reminds me of these articles,,
Getting Over the Code Delusion: Biology’s Awakening - Stephen L. Talbott - 2012 Excerpt: Nucleosomes will sometimes move — or be moved (the distinction between actor and acted upon is obscured in the living cell) — rhythmically back and forth between alternative positions in order to enable multiple transcription passes over a gene. (…) The histone spool of nucleosomes, for example, is not some rigid thing. It would be far better to think of its “substance,” “surface,” “contact points,” and “physical interactions” as forms assumed by mutually interpenetrating forces in intricate and varied play. (…) The nucleosome is rather like a maestro directing the genetic orchestra, except that the direction is itself orchestrated by the surrounding cellular audience in conversation with the instrumentalists,, http://www.natureinstitute.org/txt/st/mqual/genome_4.htm Epigenetics and the "Piano" Metaphor - January 2012 Excerpt: And this is only the construction of proteins we're talking about. It leaves out of the picture entirely the higher-level components -- tissues, organs, the whole body plan that draws all the lower-level stuff together into a coherent, functioning form. What we should really be talking about is not a lone piano but a vast orchestra under the directing guidance of an unknown conductor fulfilling an artistic vision, organizing and transcending the music of the assembly of individual players. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/01/epigenetics_and054731.html
But Prof Moran says evolution is messy! Andre

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