Epigenetics refers to alterations in gene expression due to modifications in histone acetylation and DNA methylation at the promoter regions of genes. Unlike genetic mutations, epigenetic alterations are not due to modifications in the gene primary nucleotide sequence. The importance of epigenetics in the initiation and progression of breast cancer has led many investigators to incorporate this novel and exciting field in breast cancer drug development. Several drugs that target epigenetic alterations, including inhibitors of histone deacetylase (HDAC) and DNA methyltransferase (DNMT), are currently approved for treatment of hematological malignancies and are available for clinical investigation in solid tumors. In this manuscript, we review the critical role of epigenetics in breast cancer including the potential for epigenetic alterations to serve as biomarkers determining breast cancer prognosis and response to therapy. We highlight initial promising results to date with use of epigenetic modifiers in patients with breast cancer and the ongoing challenges involved in the successful establishment of these agents for the treatment of breast cancer.
Epigenetics; Breast cancer; DNA methyltransferase inhibitor (DNMT); Histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDAC)
Cancer initiation and progression is controlled by both genetic and epigenetic events. The complexity of carcinogenesis cannot be accounted for by genetic alterations alone but also involves epigenetic changes. Epigenetics refers to the study of mechanisms that alter gene expression without altering the primary DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms are heritable and reversible, and include changes in DNA methylation, histone modifications and small noncoding microRNAs (miRNA). Disruption of epigenetic processes can lead to altered gene function and malignant cellular transformation. Aberrant epigenetic modifications probably occur at a very early stage in neoplastic development, and they are widely described as essential players in cancer progression. Recent advances in epigenetics offer a better understanding of the underlying mechanism(s) of carcinogenesis and provide insight into the discovery of putative cancer biomarkers for early detection, disease monitoring, prognosis, and risk assessment. In this review, we summarize the current literature on epigenetic changes causing genetic alterations that are thought to contribute to cancer, and discuss the potential impact of epigenetics future research.
cancer; DNA methylation; epigenetics; histone modification; microRNA
Epigenetic changes are critical for development and progression of cancers, including breast cancer. Significant progress has been made in the basic understanding of how various epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation, histone modification, miRNA expression, and higher order chromatin structure affect gene expression. The present review will focus on methylation and demethylation of histones. While the acetylation of histones has been at the forefront of well-characterized post-translational modifications of histones, including the development of inhibitors targeting de-acetylating enzymes, the past few years have witnessed a dramatic increase in knowledge regarding the role of histone methylation/demethylation. This is an exciting and rapidly evolving area of research, with much promise for potential clinical intervention in several cancers including breast cancer. We also summarize efforts to identity DNA methylation signatures that could be prognostic and/or predictive markers in breast cancer, focusing on recent studies using genome-wide approaches. Finally, we briefly review the efforts made by both the National Institutes of Health Epigenome Project and The Cancer Genome Atlas, especially highlighting the study of breast cancer epigenetics, exciting technological advances, potential roadblocks, and future directions.
Lung cancer is recognized as a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide and its frequency is still increasing. The prognosis in lung cancer is poor and limited by the difficulties of diagnosis at early stage of disease, when it is amenable to surgery treatment. Therefore, the advance in identification of lung cancer genetic and epigenetic markers with diagnostic and/or prognostic values becomes an important tool for future molecular oncology and personalized therapy. As in case of other tumors, aberrant epigenetic landscape has been documented also in lung cancer, both at early and late stage of carcinogenesis. Hypermethylation of specific genes, mainly tumor suppressor genes, as well as hypomethylation of oncogenes and retrotransposons, associated with histopathological subtypes of lung cancer, has been found. Epigenetic aberrations of histone proteins and, especially, the lower global levels of histone modifications have been associated with poorer clinical outcome in lung cancer. The recently discovered role of epigenetic modifications of microRNA expression in tumors has been also proven in lung carcinogenesis. The identified epigenetic events in lung cancer contribute to its specific epigenotype and correlated phenotypic features. So far, some of them have been suggested to be cancer biomarkers for early detection, disease monitoring, prognosis, and risk assessment. As epigenetic aberrations are reversible, their correction has emerged as a promising therapeutic target.
Epigenetic modifications; Promoter hypermethylation; Histone modifications; miRNA; Lung cancer
Epigenetic processes participate in cancer development and likely influence cancer prevention. Global DNA hypomethylation, gene promoter hypermethylation and aberrant histone post-translational modifications are hallmarks of neoplastic cells which have been associated with genomic instability and altered gene expression. Because epigenetic deregulation occurs early in carcinogenesis and is potentially reversible, intervention strategies targeting the epigenome have been proposed for cancer prevention. Bioactive food components (BFCs) with anticancer potential, including folate, polyphenols, selenium, retinoids, fatty acids, isothiocyanates and allyl compounds, influence DNA methylation and histone modification processes. Such activities have been shown to affect the expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, death and differentiation that are frequently altered in cancer. Although the epigenome represents a promising target for cancer prevention with BFCs, few studies have addressed the influence of dietary components on these mechanisms in vivo, particularly on the phenotype of humans, and thus the exact mechanisms whereby diet mediates an effect on cancer prevention remains unclear. Primary factors that should be elucidated include the effective doses and dose timing of BFCs to attain epigenetic effects. Because diet-epigenome interactions are likely to occur in utero, the impact of early-life nutrition on cancer risk programming should be further investigated.
Bioactive food components; Cancer; DNA methylation; Epigenome; Histone modifications; Prevention
Acquired or inherited genetic alterations either alone or in combination with epigenetic alterations are associated with prostate carcinogenesis and its progression toward advance metastatic or castration-resistant disease. A major objective of translational cancer research in post-genome era is to discover the repertoire of genetic and epigenetic variations associated with prostate cancer. Genome-wide association studies have been at least partially successful in identifying potential germline polymorphisms and allelic imbalances such as microsatellite instability and loss of heterozygosity associated with prostate cancer susceptibility. Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA hyper- or hypomethylation and histone modifications are reversible genetic alterations which allow stable inheritance of cellular phenotypes without any changes in the DNA sequence or quantity. Epigenetic modifications can potentially be used for the molecular classification, detection, and risk assessment in prostate cancer. Chemical inhibitors of DNA methyltransferases and histone deacetylases have been used in different clinical trials and hold promise as novel chemotherapeutics to be effective alone or in combination with other therapeutic interventions in prostate cancer.
Genetics; Epigenetics; Genome; Somatic; Germline; Prostate Cancer
Breast carcinogenesis is a multistep process involving both genetic and epigenetic changes. Epigenetics is defined as reversible changes in gene expression, not accompanied by alteration in gene sequence. DNA methylation, histone modification, and nucleosome remodeling are the major epigenetic changes that are dysregulated in breast cancer. Several genes involved in proliferation, anti-apoptosis, invasion, and metastasis have been shown to undergo epigenetic changes in breast cancer. Because epigenetic changes are potentially reversible processes, much effort has been directed toward understanding this mechanism with the goal of finding effective therapies that target these changes. Both demethylating agents and the histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are under investigation as single agents or in combination with other systemic therapies in the treatment of breast cancer. In this review, we discuss the role of epigenetic regulation in breast cancer, in particular focusing on the clinical trials using therapies that modulate epigenetic mechanisms.
Breast cancer; Epigenetic targets; Demethylating agents; Histone deacetylase inhibitors
Breast carcinogenesis involves genetic and epigenetic alterations that cause aberrant gene function. Recent progress in the knowledge of epigenomics has had a profound impact on the understanding of mechanisms leading to breast cancer, and consequently the development of new strategies for diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Epigenetic regulation has been known to involve three mutually interacting events – DNA methylation, histone modifications and nucleosomal remodeling. These processes modulate chromatin structure to form euchromatin or heterochromatin, and in turn activate or silence gene expression. Alteration in expression of key genes through aberrant epigenetic regulation in breast cells can lead to initiation, promotion and maintenance of carcinogenesis, and is even implicated in the generation of drug resistance. We currently review known roles of the epigenetic machinery in the development and recurrence of breast cancer. Furthermore, we highlight the significance of epigenetic alterations as predictive biomarkers and as new targets of anticancer therapy.
breast cancer; CpG islands; demethylating agents; DNA methylation; epigenetics; histone deacetylase inhibitors; histone modifications; nucleosomal rem odeling
Renal cell tumors (RCT) collectively constitute the third most common type of genitourinary neoplasms, only surpassed by prostate and bladder cancer. They comprise a heterogeneous group of neoplasms with distinctive clinical, morphological, and genetic features. Epigenetic alterations are a hallmark of cancer cells and their role in renal tumorigenesis is starting to emerge. Aberrant DNA methylation, altered chromatin remodeling/histone onco-modifications and deregulated microRNA expression not only contribute to the emergence and progression of RCTs, but owing to their ubiquity, they also constitute a promising class of biomarkers tailored for disease detection, diagnosis, assessment of prognosis, and prediction of response to therapy. Moreover, due to their dynamic and reversible properties, those alterations represent a target for epigenetic-directed therapies. In this review, the current knowledge about epigenetic mechanisms and their altered status in RCT is summarized and their envisaged use in a clinical setting is also provided.
epigenetics; kidney; renal cell tumors; DNA methylation; chromatin remodeling; histone post-translational modifications; microRNAs; epigenetic-based therapeutics
All cells of a given organism contain nearly identical genetic information, yet tissues display unique gene expression profiles. This specificity is in part due to transcriptional control by epigenetic mechanisms that involve post-translational modifications of histones. These modifications affect the folding of the chromatin fiber and serve as binding sites for non-histone chromosomal proteins. Here we discuss functions of the Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) family of proteins that recognize H3K9me, an epigenetic mark generated by the histone methyltransferases SU(VAR)3-9 and orthologues. Loss of HP1 proteins causes chromosome segregation defects and lethality in some organisms; a reduction in levels of HP1 family members is associated with cancer progression in humans. These consequences are likely due to the role of HP1 in centromere stability, telomere capping and the regulation of euchromatic and heterochromatic gene expression.
Cancer; Chromatin; Epigenetics; Gene regulation; Heterochromatin; Histone modifications
DNA methylation, histone modifications, and the chromatin structure are profoundly altered in human cancers. The silencing of cancer-related genes by these epigenetic regulators is recognized as a key mechanism in tumor formation. Recent findings revealed that DNA methylation and histone modifications appear to be linked to each other. However, it is not clearly understood how the formation of histone modifications may affect DNA methylation and which genes are relevantly involved with tumor formation. The presence of histone modifications does not always link to DNA methylation in human cancers, which suggests that another factor is required to connect these two epigenetic mechanisms. In this review, examples of studies that demonstrated the relationship between histone modifications and DNA methylation in human cancers are presented and the potential implications of these epigenetic mechanisms in human neoplasia are discussed.
Histone methylation; histone methyltransferase; DNA methylation
As altered epigenetic regulation is a common feature of cancer, a greater understanding is required of the role of histone post-translational modifications as epigenetic regulators of changes in chromatin structure. Chromatin remodeling may also be important in the cellular response to DNA damage induced by anti-cancer drugs. A greater understanding of the nature of histone PTMs and resulting DNA damage in normal and cancerous tissues might indicate differences in the activity of enzymes involved in modifying histones, which could yield potential targets for cancer-specific therapy. Trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, promotes acetylation of histones and subsequently increases the accessibility to cellular machinery by the unraveling of DNA.
Using high-resolution 9.4T and 12T Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometers, the aim of this work was to characterise, in an unbiased fashion, the histone PTMs induced in histone H4 in response to treatment with TSA and certain environmental stimuli.
FT-ICR mass spectrometry is not well suited to online analysis, owing to the extended scan time required to achieve optimum resolving power. The TriVersa Nanomate enables fraction collection of the HPLC eluent allowing FT acquisition time to be decoupled from separation time. Following further sample cleanup, it proved possible to infuse unfractionated complex histone samples. The most abundant classes of histone present in the cell (H2A, H2B, H3, H4) were observed
The resolving power of FT-ICR permits the post-translational modification of H4 to be observed directly. It can be seen that in the case of cells treated with TSA, there was considerable variation in the acetylation state of histone H4. It was also possible to affect the acetylation state using certain environmental stimuli.
Epigenetic aberrations offer dynamic and reversible targets for cancer therapy; increasingly, alteration via overexpression, mutation, or rearrangement is found in genes that control the epigenome. Such alterations suggest a fundamental role in carcinogenesis. Here, we consider three epigenetic mechanisms: DNA methylation, histone tail modification and non-coding, microRNA regulation. Evidence for each of these in lung cancer origin or progression has been gathered, along with evidence that epigenetic alterations might be useful in early detection. DNA hypermethylation of tumor suppressor promoters has been observed, along with global hypomethylation and hypoacetylation, suggesting an important role for tumor suppressor gene silencing. These features have been linked as prognostic markers with poor outcome in lung cancer. Several lines of evidence have also suggested a role for miRNA in carcinogenesis and in outcome. Cigarette smoke downregulates miR-487b, which targets both RAS and MYC; RAS is also a target of miR-let-7, again downregulated in lung cancer. Together the evidence implicates epigenetic aberration in lung cancer and suggests that targeting these aberrations should be carefully explored. To date, DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase inhibitors have had minimal clinical activity. Explanations include the possibility that the agents are not sufficiently potent to invoke epigenetic reversion to a more normal state; that insufficient time elapses in most clinical trials to observe true epigenetic reversion; and that doses often used may provoke off-target effects such as DNA damage that prevent epigenetic reversion. Combinations of epigenetic therapies may address those problems. When epigenetic agents are used in combination with chemotherapy or targeted therapy it is hoped that downstream biological effects will provoke synergistic cytotoxicity. This review evaluates the challenges of exploiting the epigenome in the treatment of lung cancer.
epigenetics; non-small cell lung cancer; small-cell lung cancer; DNA methylation; histone modification; microRNA
There is now a compelling body of evidences sustaining the importance of epigenetic mechanisms in the development and progression of cancer. DNA methylation, post-translational histone and other protein modifications, microRNA expression, and nucleosome positioning, all act together to exert their cellular effects. The epigenome is responsible for controlling gene expression thus defining cell differentiation and tissue specificity. This review will focus on DNA methylation and histone modification because these epigenetic events are widely implicated in cancer development and progression. We will in particular address the translational aspects of breast cancer epigenomics including the development of biomarkers and the prospects for epigenetic based pharmacologic treatments. The analysis of DNA methylation has the advantage over other molecular methods (e.g. single gene mutation, microsatellite analysis) that it can be detected with a very high degree of specificity even in the presence of excess unmethylated DNA. Furthermore, the presence of specific CpG methylation signatures makes methylation-based markers attractive diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive tools for better management of breast cancer patients.
Breast cancer; DNA methylation; Early detection
Breast cancer is a complex disease driven by multiple factors including both genetic and epigenetic alterations. Recent studies revealed that abnormal gene expression induced by epigenetic changes, including aberrant promoter methylation and histone modification, plays a critical role in human breast Carcinogenesis. Silencing of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) by promoter CpG methylation facilitates cells growth and survival advantages and further results in tumor initiation and progression, thus directly contributing to breast tumorigenesis. Usually, aberrant promoter methylation of TSGs, which can be reversed by pharmacological reagents, occurs at the early stage of tumorigenesis and therefore may serve as a potential tumor marker for early diagnosis and therapeutic targeting of breast cancer. In this review, we summarize the epigenetic changes of multiple TSGs involved in breast pathogenesis and their potential clinical applications as tumor markers for early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
Breast cancer; tumor suppressor gene; CpG; methylation; tumor marker
Epigenetic is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without changes in DNA sequence. This process is important for gene expression and genome stability and its disruption is now thought to play a key role in the onset and progression of numerous tumor types. The most studied epigenetic phenomena includes post-translational modifications in DNA and histone proteins as well as microRNAs expression. As epigenetic aberrations are potentially reversible, their correction has emerged as a potential strategy for the treatment of cancer. This review highlights the roles of chromatin epigenetic modifications and of microRNAs expression in lung tumorigenesis and discusses the emerging epigenetic therapies which are being developed for the treatment of lung cancer.
epigenetic; lung cancer; DNA methylation; histone modification
Most of the development and functional differentiation in the mammary gland occur after birth. Epigenetics is defined as the stable alterations in gene expression potential that arise during development and proliferation. Epigenetic changes are mediated at the biochemical level by the chromatin conformation initiated by DNA methylation, histone variants, post-translational modifications of histones, non-histone chromatin proteins, and non-coding RNAs. Epigenetics plays a key role in development. However, very little is known about its role in the developing mammary gland or how it might integrate the many signalling pathways involved in mammary gland development and function that have been discovered during the past few decades. An inverse relationship between marks of closed (DNA methylation) or open chromatin (DnaseI hypersensitivity, certain histone modifications) and milk protein gene expression has been documented. Recent studies have shown that during development and functional differentiation, both global and local chromatin changes occur. Locally, chromatin at distal regulatory elements and promoters of milk protein genes gains a more open conformation. Furthermore, changes occur both in looping between regulatory elements and attachment to nuclear matrix. These changes are induced by developmental signals and environmental conditions. Additionally, distinct epigenetic patterns have been identified in mammary gland stem and progenitor cell sub-populations. Together, these findings suggest that epigenetics plays a role in mammary development and function. With the new tools for epigenomics developed in recent years, we now can begin to establish a framework for the role of epigenetics in mammary gland development and disease.
Mammary gland; Epigenetic; Milk protein genes; Chromatin; Development
Cancer progression is accompanied by widespread transcriptional changes and metabolic alterations. While it is widely accepted that the origin of cancer can be traced to the mutations that accumulate over time, relatively recent evidence favors a similarly fundamental role for alterations in the epigenome during tumorigenesis. Changes in epigenetics that arise from post-translational modifications of histones and DNA are exploited by cancer cells to upregulate and/or downregulate the expression levels of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, respectively. Although the mechanisms behind these modifications, in particular how they lead to gene silencing and activation, are still being understood, most of the enzymatic machinery of epigenetics require metabolites as substrates or cofactors. As a result, their activities can be influenced by the metabolic state of the cell. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of cancer epigenetics and metabolism and provide examples of where they converge.
Warburg effect; metabolic signaling; NAD metabolism; α-ketoglutarate and cancer; TCA cycle; histone modifications; IDH mutations
Laryngeal carcinoma is a common head and neck cancer with poor prognosis. Patients with laryngeal carcinoma usually present late leading to the reduced treatment efficacy and high rate of recurrence. Despite the advance in the use of molecular markers for monitoring human cancers in the past decades, there are still no reliable markers for use to screen laryngeal carcinoma and follow the patients after treatment. Epigenetics emerged as an important field in understanding the biology of the human malignancies. Epigenetic alterations refer to the dysregulation of gene, which do not involve the alterations of the DNA sequence. Major epigenetic changes including methylation imbalance, histone modification, and small RNA dysregulation could play a role in the development of human malignancies. Global epigenetic change is now regarded as a molecular signature of cancer. The characteristics and behavior of a cancer could be predicted based on the specific epigenetic pattern. We here provide a review on the understanding of epigenetic dysregulation in laryngeal carcinoma. Further knowledge on the initiation and progression of laryngeal carcinoma at epigenetic level could promote the translation of the knowledge to clinical use.
Epigenetic modifiers play important roles in fine-tuning the cellular transcriptome. Any imbalance in these processes may lead to abnormal transcriptional activity and thus result in disease state. Distortions of the epigenome have been reported in cancer initiation and progression. DNA methylation and histone modifications are principle components of this epigenome, but more recently it has become clear that microRNAs (miRNAs) are another major component of the epigenome. Interactions of these components are apparent in prostate cancer (CaP), which is the most common non-cutaneous cancer and second leading cause of death from cancer in the USA. Changes in DNA methylation, altered histone modifications and miRNA expression are functionally associated with CaP initiation and progression. Various aspects of the epigenome have also been investigated as biomarkers for different stages of CaP detection, though with limited success. This review aims to summarize key aspects of these mechanistic interactions within the epigenome and to highlight their translational potential as functional biomarkers. To this end, exploration of TCGA prostate cancer data revealed that expression of key CaP miRNAs inversely associate with DNA methylation. Given the importance and prevalence of these epigenetic events in CaP biology it is timely to understand further how different epigenetic components interact and influence each other.
epigenetics; DNA methylation; histone modifications; microRNA; prostate cancer; cancer
Cutaneous melanoma is a very aggressive neoplasia of melanocytic origin with constantly growing incidence and mortality rates world-wide. Epigenetic modifications (i.e., alterations of genomic DNA methylation patterns, of post-translational modifications of histones, and of microRNA profiles) have been recently identified as playing an important role in melanoma development and progression by affecting key cellular pathways such as cell cycle regulation, cell signalling, differentiation, DNA repair, apoptosis, invasion and immune recognition. In this scenario, pharmacologic inhibition of DNA methyltransferases and/or of histone deacetylases were demonstrated to efficiently restore the expression of aberrantly-silenced genes, thus re-establishing pathway functions. In light of the pleiotropic activities of epigenetic drugs, their use alone or in combination therapies is being strongly suggested, and a particular clinical benefit might be expected from their synergistic activities with chemo-, radio-, and immuno-therapeutic approaches in melanoma patients. On this path, an important improvement would possibly derive from the development of new generation epigenetic drugs characterized by much reduced systemic toxicities, higher bioavailability, and more specific epigenetic effects.
Cancer is a disease initiated and driven by the accumulation and interplay of genetic and epigenetic mutations of genes involved in the regulation of cell growth and signaling. Dysregulation of these genes and pathways in a cell leads to a growth advantage and clonal expansion. The epigenetic alterations involved in the initiation and progression of cancer are DNA methylation and histone modifications which interact to remodel chromatin, as well as RNA interference. These alterations can be used as candidate targets in molecular tests for risk, early detection, prognosis, prediction of response to therapy, and monitoring, as well as new therapeutic targets in cancer. In this review, we discuss the rationale, studies to date, and issues in the translational application of epigenetics using epithelial ovarian cancer as a specific example of all types of cancer.
methylation; histone modifications; microRNAs; translational research; ovarian cancer
Prostate cancer is a commonly diagnosed cancer in men and a leading cause of cancer deaths. Whilst the underlying mechanisms leading to prostate cancer are still to be determined, it is evident that both genetic and epigenetic changes contribute to the development and progression of this disease. Epigenetic changes involving DNA hypo- and hypermethylation, altered histone modifications and more recently changes in microRNA expression have been detected at a range of genes associated with prostate cancer. Furthermore, there is evidence that particular epigenetic changes are associated with different stages of the disease. Whilst early detection can lead to effective treatment, and androgen deprivation therapy has a high response rate, many tumours develop towards hormone-refractory prostate cancer, for which there is no successful treatment. Reliable markers for early detection and more effective treatment strategies are, therefore, needed. Consequently, there is a considerable interest in the potential of epigenetic changes as markers or targets for therapy in prostate cancer. Epigenetic modifiers that demethylate DNA and inhibit histone deacetylases have recently been explored to reactivate silenced gene expression in cancer. However, further understanding of the mechanisms and the effects of chromatin modulation in prostate cancer are required. In this review, we examine the current literature on epigenetic changes associated with prostate cancer and discuss the potential use of epigenetic modifiers for treatment of this disease.
Prostate cancer; Epigenetics; DNA methylation; Histone acetylation; MicroRNA
Alterations in modifications of histones have been linked to deregulated expression of many genes with important roles in cancer development and progression. The effects of these alterations have so far been interpreted from a promoter-specific viewpoint, focussing on gene–gene differences in patterns of histone modifications. However, recent findings suggest that cancer tissues also display cell–cell differences in total amount of specific histone modifications. This novel cellular epigenetic heterogeneity is related to clinical outcome of cancer patients and may serve as a valuable marker of prognosis.
epigenetics; histone modifications; prognosis; biomarker
Post-translational modification of chromatin is emerging as an increasingly important regulator of chromosomal processes. In particular, histone lysine and arginine methylation play important roles in regulating transcription, maintaining genomic integrity, and contributing to epigenetic memory. Recently, the use of new approaches to analyse histone methylation, the generation of genetic model systems, and the ability to interrogate genome wide histone modification profiles has aided in defining how histone methylation contributes to these processes. Here we focus on the recent advances in our understanding of the histone methylation system and examine how dynamic histone methylation contributes to normal cellular function in mammals.
Chromatin; methylation; demethylation; histone; epigenetics