UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry, Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute

Date

5-28-2015

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Computational Biology | Genetics | Population Biology

Abstract

Epigenetic modifications are alterations that regulate gene expression without modifying the underlying DNA sequence. DNA methylation and histone modifications, for example, are capable of spatial and temporal regulation of expression-with several studies demonstrating that these epigenetic marks are heritable. Thus, like DNA sequence, epigenetic marks are capable of storing information and passing it from one generation to the next. Because the epigenome is dynamic and epigenetic modifications can respond to external environmental stimuli, such changes may play an important role in adaptive evolution. While recent studies provide strong evidence for species-specific signatures of epigenetic marks, little is known about the mechanisms by which such modifications evolve. In order to address this question, we analyze the genome wide distribution of an epigenetic histone mark (H3K4me3) in prefrontal cortex neurons of humans, chimps and rhesus macaques. We develop a novel statistical framework to quantify within- and between-species variation in histone methylation patterns, using an ANOVA-based method and defining an FST -like measure for epigenetics (termed epi- FST), in order to develop a deeper understanding of the evolutionary pressures acting on epigenetic variation. Results demonstrate that genes with high epigenetic FST values are indeed significantly overrepresented among genes that are differentially expressed between species, and we observe only a weak correlation with SNP density.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Front Genet. 2015 May 28;6:190. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2015.00190. eCollection 2015. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version

10.3389/fgene.2015.00190

Comments

Copyright © 2015 Mahajan, Crisci, Wong, Akbarian, Foll and Jensen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Keywords

ANEVA, adaptation, epi-FST, epigenetics

Journal Title

Frontiers in genetics

PubMed ID

26074949

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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