Epigenomics: Roadmap for regulation : Nature : Nature Publishing Group
Epigenomics: Roadmap for regulation
- Published online
The topic in brief
- Epigenomics is the study of the key functional elements that regulate gene expression in a cell.
- Epigenomes provide information about the patterns in which structures such as methyl groups tag DNA and histones (the proteins around which DNA is packaged to form chromatin), and about interactions between distant sections of chromatin.
- They also contain information about regulatory elements in DNA itself: both those that lie in the promoter region immediately upstream of where a gene's transcription begins, and those in distant enhancer sequences.
- The ENCODE Project1 aimed to catalogue the regulatory elements in human cells, studying the epigenomic signatures of cells grown in culture. The Roadmap Epigenomics Project2, 3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 builds on this by analysing samples taken directly from human tissues and cells — embryonic and adult, diseased and healthy (Fig. 1).
- The researchers have linked these epigenomic data to the corresponding genetic information, producing reference epigenomes for 127 tissue and cell types.
- The result is a representation of how epigenomic elements regulate gene expression in the human body.
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