Early life lessons: The lasting effects of germline epigenetic information on organismal development
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UMass Chan AffiliationsGraduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Document TypeJournal Article
Biochemical Phenomena, Metabolism, and Nutrition
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology
Genetics and Genomics
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AbstractBACKGROUND: An organism's metabolic phenotype is primarily affected by its genotype, its lifestyle, and the nutritional composition of its food supply. In addition, it is now clear from studies in many different species that ancestral environments can also modulate metabolism in at least one to two generations of offspring. SCOPE OF REVIEW: We limit ourselves here to paternal effects in mammals, primarily focusing on studies performed in inbred rodent models. Although hundreds of studies link paternal diets and offspring metabolism, the mechanistic basis by which epigenetic information in sperm programs nutrient handling in the next generation remains mysterious. Our goal in this review is to provide a brief overview of paternal effect paradigms and the germline epigenome. We then pivot to exploring one key mystery in this literature: how do epigenetic changes in sperm, most of which are likely to act transiently in the early embryo, ultimately direct a long-lasting physiological response in offspring? MAJOR CONCLUSIONS: Several potential mechanisms exist by which transient epigenetic modifications, such as small RNAs or methylation states erased shortly after fertilization, could be transferred to more durable heritable information. A detailed mechanistic understanding of this process will provide deep insights into early development, and could be of great relevance for human health and disease.
Galan C, Krykbaeva M, Rando OJ. Early life lessons: The lasting effects of germline epigenetic information on organismal development. Mol Metab. 2020 Aug;38:100924. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2019.12.004. Epub 2019 Dec 27. PMID: 31974037; PMCID: PMC7300385. Link to article on publisher's site
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/41545
RightsCopyright 2019. Published by Elsevier GmbH. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright 2019. Published by Elsevier GmbH. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).