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Nutritional aspects of epigenetic inheritance.

Review article
Alam SE, et al. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2012.


The impact of diet and environmental factors on genes concerned with epigenetic inheritance and the mechanism of evolution has grown significantly beyond the Modern Synthesis period. Epigenetic inheritance is the passing of phenotypic change to subsequent generations in ways that are outside the genetic code of DNA. Recently, polymorphisms of the human Delta-5 (fatty acid desaturase, FADS1) and Delta-6 (FADS2) desaturase genes have been described as being associated with the level of several long-chain n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in serum phospholipids. Increased consumption of refined starches and sugar increases the generation of superoxide anion in the tissues and free fatty acids (FFA) in the blood. There is an increased amount and activity of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), a transcriptional factor regulating the activity of at least 125 genes, most of which are pro-inflammatory. The consumption of glucose may be associated with an increase in 2 other pro-inflammatory transcription factors: activating protein-1 (AP-1), and early growth response protein-1 (Egr-1). AP-1 regulates the transcription of matrix metallo-proteinases and Egr-1 modulates the transcription of tissue factor and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1. It is possible that a complex set of factors, including nutritional factors, come into play during epigenetic inheritance.


22803604 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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