Epigenetics describes heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence — a change in phenotype without a change in genotype.  Epigenetic modifications include acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation and ubiquitination and alter the accessibility of DNA to transcription machinery affecting gene expression.  Proteins that carry out these epigenetic modifications are considered to be either writers, readers or erasers.  Cancer was the first human disease to be linked to epigenetics and epigenetic changes are also linked to metabolic and autoimmune diseases and adult psychiatric, autistic, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Epigenetics categories

Further reading

Weinhold (2006) Epigenetics: the science of change. Environ. Health Perspect.14(3) A160 doi: 10.1289/ehp.114-a160. PMID: 16507447; PMCID: PMC1392256

Goldberg (2007) A Landscape Takes Shape. Cell 128(4) 635

Biswas and Rao (2017) Epigenetics in cancer: Fundamentals and Beyond.  Pharmacol. Therapeutics 173 118

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