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Essays Biochem. 2016 Oct 15;60(2):191-202.

Epigenetic inheritance of proteostasis and ageing.

Author information

1
Epigenetics Programme, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, CB22 3AT, U.K.
2
Epigenetics Programme, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, CB22 3AT, U.K. Olivia.Casanueva@babraham.ac.uk.

Abstract

Abundant evidence shows that the genome is not as static as once thought and that gene expression can be reversibly modulated by the environment. In some cases, these changes can be transmitted to the next generation even if the environment has reverted. Such transgenerational epigenetic inheritance requires that information be stored in the germline in response to exogenous stressors. One of the most elusive questions in the field of epigenetic inheritance is the identity of such inherited factor(s). Answering this question would allow us to understand how the environment can shape human populations for multiple generations and may help to explain the rapid rise in obesity and neurodegenerative diseases in modern society. It will also provide clues on how we might be able to reprogramme the epigenome to prevent transmission of detrimental phenotypes and identify individuals who might be at increased risk of disease. In this article, we aim to review recent developments in this field, focusing on research conducted mostly in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and mice, that link environmental modulators with the transgenerational inheritance of phenotypes that affect protein-folding homoeostasis and ageing.

KEYWORDS:

ageing; epigenetics; proteostasis; transgenerational epigenetic inheritance

PMID:
27744335
PMCID:
PMC5065705
DOI:
10.1042/EBC20160025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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