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Evolutionary Biology • Genetics

Research report (imported) 2017 - Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics

Inheritance beyond DNA: intergenerational epigenetic inheritance


Zenk, Fides; Iovino, Nicola



The genetic information for building an organism is transmitted from parents to offspring through gametes. Although it has long been thought that the DNA blueprint solely is encoded in our genes, increasing evidence shows that stress-induced changes in the chromatin can also be inherited through gametes affecting gene regulation across generations. Our recent research shows that an epigenetic modification, H3K27me3, is maternally inherited and controls gene expression during early embryogenesis. Future work will address the mechanisms underlying intergenerational epigenetic inheritance.
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