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Heredity (Edinb). 2010 Jul;105(1):4-13. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2010.54. Epub 2010 May 12.

Epigenetics and gene expression.

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UCD Institute of Food and Health, Dublin, Ireland.


Transcription, translation and subsequent protein modification represent the transfer of genetic information from the archival copy of DNA to the short-lived messenger RNA, usually with subsequent production of protein. Although all cells in an organism contain essentially the same DNA, cell types and functions differ because of qualitative and quantitative differences in their gene expression. Thus, control of gene expression is at the heart of differentiation and development. Epigenetic processes, including DNA methylation, histone modification and various RNA-mediated processes, are thought to influence gene expression chiefly at the level of transcription; however, other steps in the process (for example, translation) may also be regulated epigenetically. The following paper will outline the role epigenetics is believed to have in influencing gene expression.

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