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Epigenomics. 2010 Oct;2(5):627-38. doi: 10.2217/epi.10.45.

DNA methylation profiling highlights the unique nature of the human placental epigenome.

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  • 1Developmental Epigenetics, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital & Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia.


As the 'gateway' to the fetus, the placenta is subject to a myriad of environmental factors, each with the potential to alter placental epigenetic and gene expression profile. This can have direct consequences for the developing fetus and potentially even long-term health implications. As a result, interest in placental epigenetics generally, and changes occurring in placenta-associated disease, has intensified over recent years. This article will discuss the general features of placental DNA methylation and will describe current technologies for profiling genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in this tissue, the approaches to data analysis and some of the major findings from recent studies.

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