Many human characteristics, including susceptibility to disease, are determined genetically. An unexplored alternative to such genetic... Show More
Many human characteristics, including susceptibility to disease, are determined genetically. An unexplored alternative to such genetic determination concerns epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation. CpG islands (CGIs) are generally constitutively hypomethylated, however there are circumstances in which they become heavily methylated and, when coincident with a gene promoter, this invariably causes transcriptional silencing. CGI methylation occurs in normal tissues during processes such as X-inactivation, but abnormal patterns of methylation have also been implicated in disease. The vast majority of evidence relates to cancer, where silencing of multiple genes in this way appears to be a causal contributor to the cancer state. To address the role and extent of CGI methylation in â€˜normalâ€™ and diseased cells we applied MBD-affinity purification in conjunction with next generation sequencing in a panel of human brain autopsy samples. These samples represent a panel of individuals as well as specific brain regions and neurological pathologies.
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