Epigenetic responses to environmental change and their evolutionary implications

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Epigenetic responses to environmental change and their evolutionary implications. / Turner, Bryan.

In: Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences, Vol. 364, No. 1534, 01.11.2009, p. 3403-3418.

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@article{53a00d8d1a97481a9412b223a796c36e,
title = "Epigenetic responses to environmental change and their evolutionary implications",
abstract = "Chromatin is a complex of DNA, RNA, histones and non-histone proteins and provides the platform on which the transcriptional machinery operates in eukaryotes. The structure and configuration of chromatin are manipulated by families of enzymes, some catalysing the dynamic addition and removal of chemical ligands to selected protein amino acids and some directly altering or displacing the basic structural units. The activities of many of these enzymes are sensitive to environmental and metabolic agents and can thereby serve as sensors through which environmental agents can alter gene expression. Such changes can, in turn, precipitate either local or cell-wide changes as the initial effect spreads through multiple interactive networks. This review discusses the increasingly well-understood mechanisms through which these enzymes alter chromatin function. In some cases at least, it seems that the effects on gene expression may persist even after the removal of the inducing agent, and can be passed on, through mitosis, to subsequent cell generations, constituting a heritable, epigenetic change. If such changes occur in germ cells or their precursors, then they may be passed on to subsequent generations. Mechanisms are now known to exist through which an epigenetic change might give rise to a localized change in DNA sequence exerting the same functional effect, thereby converting an epigenetic to a genetic change. If the induced genetic change has phenotypic effects on which selection can act, then this hypothetical chain of events constitutes a potential route through which the environment might directly influence evolution.",
keywords = "environment, epigenetics, gene expression, chromatin, evolution",
author = "Bryan Turner",
year = "2009",
month = nov,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1098/rstb.2009.0125",
language = "English",
volume = "364",
pages = "3403--3418",
journal = "Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences",
issn = "0962-8452",
publisher = "The Royal Society",
number = "1534",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Epigenetic responses to environmental change and their evolutionary implications

AU - Turner, Bryan

PY - 2009/11/1

Y1 - 2009/11/1

N2 - Chromatin is a complex of DNA, RNA, histones and non-histone proteins and provides the platform on which the transcriptional machinery operates in eukaryotes. The structure and configuration of chromatin are manipulated by families of enzymes, some catalysing the dynamic addition and removal of chemical ligands to selected protein amino acids and some directly altering or displacing the basic structural units. The activities of many of these enzymes are sensitive to environmental and metabolic agents and can thereby serve as sensors through which environmental agents can alter gene expression. Such changes can, in turn, precipitate either local or cell-wide changes as the initial effect spreads through multiple interactive networks. This review discusses the increasingly well-understood mechanisms through which these enzymes alter chromatin function. In some cases at least, it seems that the effects on gene expression may persist even after the removal of the inducing agent, and can be passed on, through mitosis, to subsequent cell generations, constituting a heritable, epigenetic change. If such changes occur in germ cells or their precursors, then they may be passed on to subsequent generations. Mechanisms are now known to exist through which an epigenetic change might give rise to a localized change in DNA sequence exerting the same functional effect, thereby converting an epigenetic to a genetic change. If the induced genetic change has phenotypic effects on which selection can act, then this hypothetical chain of events constitutes a potential route through which the environment might directly influence evolution.

AB - Chromatin is a complex of DNA, RNA, histones and non-histone proteins and provides the platform on which the transcriptional machinery operates in eukaryotes. The structure and configuration of chromatin are manipulated by families of enzymes, some catalysing the dynamic addition and removal of chemical ligands to selected protein amino acids and some directly altering or displacing the basic structural units. The activities of many of these enzymes are sensitive to environmental and metabolic agents and can thereby serve as sensors through which environmental agents can alter gene expression. Such changes can, in turn, precipitate either local or cell-wide changes as the initial effect spreads through multiple interactive networks. This review discusses the increasingly well-understood mechanisms through which these enzymes alter chromatin function. In some cases at least, it seems that the effects on gene expression may persist even after the removal of the inducing agent, and can be passed on, through mitosis, to subsequent cell generations, constituting a heritable, epigenetic change. If such changes occur in germ cells or their precursors, then they may be passed on to subsequent generations. Mechanisms are now known to exist through which an epigenetic change might give rise to a localized change in DNA sequence exerting the same functional effect, thereby converting an epigenetic to a genetic change. If the induced genetic change has phenotypic effects on which selection can act, then this hypothetical chain of events constitutes a potential route through which the environment might directly influence evolution.

KW - environment

KW - epigenetics

KW - gene expression

KW - chromatin

KW - evolution

U2 - 10.1098/rstb.2009.0125

DO - 10.1098/rstb.2009.0125

M3 - Review article

C2 - 19833651

VL - 364

SP - 3403

EP - 3418

JO - Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences

JF - Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences

SN - 0962-8452

IS - 1534

ER -