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Does non-coding RNA direct epigenetic formatting?


[ James A. Shapiro ] See where James Shapiro has a new paper out:

Mobile DNA in the genome is subject to RNA-targeted epigenetic control. This control regulates the activity of transposons, retrotransposons and genomic proviruses. Many different life history experiences alter the activities of mobile DNA and the expression of genetic loci regulated by nearby insertions. The same experiences induce alterations in epigenetic formatting and lead to trans-generational modifications of genome expression and stability. These observations lead to the hypothesis that epigenetic formatting directed by non-coding RNA provides a molecular interface between life history events and genome alteration.

From the admittedly “speculative” conclusion:

If, as I expect, further research bolsters the epigenome-NGE correlations and connections documented above, then we need to ask: what components(s) of the epigenetic control apparatus communicate information about experience to NGE operators? We do not know the answer to this fundamental question. However, the data reported in Table 4 indicate that ncRNAs are good candidates for key intermediates in the experience-genome signal transduction process. If this is so, then ncRNAs are logical molecular targets for modulating genome change toward potentially adaptive outcomes. Let us hope that research aimed at examining this proposal deepens our understanding of how life history impacts both epigenetic and genome change operations (Tables 2–4), whether or not my speculation ultimately proves to be correct.

Of if you prefer video: Epigenetics 101: You Can’t Always Blame Your Parents Mung
Hi Ed, Epigenetics 101: a beginner’s guide to explaining everything Mung
Hello, Can someone explain in basic terms how we come to the conclusion that there is epigenetic information directing life, and where that information is located, and how we know that? Or direct me to a site that explains epigenetics in a basic way? Ed Reynolds

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