Fine-tuning evolution: germ-line epigenetics and inheritance

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    Abstract

    In mice, epiblast cells found both the germ-line and somatic lineages in the developing embryo. These epiblast cells carry epigenetic information from both parents that is required for development and cell function in the fetus and during post-natal life. However, germ cells must establish an epigenetic program that supports totipotency and the configuration of parent-specific epigenetic states in the gametes. To achieve this, the epigenetic information inherited by the primordial germ cells at specification is erased and new epigenetic states are established during development of the male and female germ-lines. Errors in this process can lead to transmission of epimutations through the germ-line, which have the potential to affect development and disease in the parent s progeny. This review discusses epigenetic reprogramming in the germ-line and the transmission of epigenetic information to the following generation
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)37 - 48
    Number of pages12
    JournalReproduction
    Volume146
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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