It is time to ‘upgrade’ cancer epigenetics research and put together an ambitious plan to tackle the many unanswered questions in this field using epigenomics approaches.
Histones are no longer considered to be simple ‘DNA-packaging’ proteins; they are recognized as being dynamic regulators of gene activity that undergo manypost-translational chemical modifications, including acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitylation and sumoylation.
In addition to their influence on gene expression, emerging evidence indicates that specific histone modifications interface with other nuclear processes.
Histone modifications, together with DNA methylation, also have a vital role in organizing nuclear architecture,which, in turn, is involved in regulating transcription and other nuclear processes.
However, what distinguishes metabolomics from clinical chemistry is the fact that in metabolomics one is not attempting to characterize a few compounds at a time, but literally dozens or even hundreds of compounds at a time.
Blood is a special biofluid, as it potentially reflects all processes going on in all organs. This can be both a blessing and a curse, as metabolite perturbations in the blood, while easily detectable, cannot be easily traced to a specific organ or a specific cause.
On a cellular level, organisms face two main challenges: to maintain genome integrity in the face of mutagens and mobile genetic elements, and to express a specific repertoire of genes at the proper level and with the appropriate timing.
In sharp contrast to the low within-species genetic variation, differences between species-specific haplotypes were high.