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Nat Genet. 2005 Nov;37(11):1194-200.

Strategies for dissecting epigenetic mechanisms in the mouse.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Epigenetics generally refers to heritable changes in gene expression that are independent of nucleotide sequence. With complete genome sequences in hand, understanding the epigenetic control of genomes is the next step towards comprehending how the same DNA sequence gives rise to different cells, lineages and organs. Epigenetics also contributes to individual variation in normal biology and in disease states. The mouse provides a unique opportunity to understand how epigenetic differences contribute to both development and disease in a tractable mammalian system. Here we discuss current approaches and protocols used to study epigenetics in the mouse, including loss-of-function studies, mutagenesis screens, somatic cell nuclear transfer, genomics and proteomics.

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