Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers characterize 'epigenetic fingerprints' of 1,628 people

Date:
June 2, 2011
Source:
IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
Summary:
Researchers have identified the "epigenetic fingerprints" of 1,628 people -- healthy volunteers in addition to patients suffering from common diseases, such as cancer, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

Until a decade, it was believed that differences between people were due solely to the existence of genetic changes, which are alterations in the sequence of our genes. Discoveries made during the last 10 years show that beings with the same genetics, such as human twins and cloned animals, may have different characteristics and disease due to epigenetic changes.

Related Articles


Epigenetics involves chemical signatures that are added to DNA and proteins that package it, to regulate their activity. The more recognized epigenetic brand is DNA methylation, a process based on the addition of a methyl chemical group into a part of our genetic puzzle. Therefore, while the genetic is like the alphabet, epigenetics is like the punctuation marks of a text.

Researcher Manel Esteller, director of the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), professor at the University of Barcelona and ICREA researcher, has coordinated a work that identifies the "epigenetic fingerprints" of 1,628 people -- healthy volunteers in addition to patients suffering from common diseases, such as cancer, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. The findings are published in the scientific journal Genome Research.

'Photo finish'

"The study analyses thousands of sites of DNA methylation in this great set of physiological and pathological tissues, it would be like a photo finish in a race that teaches you the epigenome of the individual at a particular time" says Dr. Esteller.

The results from the research provide understanding of many processes of the human body and how these processes lead to disease. The IDIBELL researcher says that "in the case of cancer, the study shows that all human tumours suffer epigenetic inactivation of cancer-protective genes and also tumour cells lose their epigenetic memory and can not remember what healthy tissue was."

Dr. Esteller explains how these changes related to the cancerous disease are not instantaneous but gradually accumulate with aging of our bodies. The changes are different from those in dementia and other autoimmune diseases with different epigenomes.

A very interesting result for its potential applicability is that we could know the primary tumour of metastases with unknown origin: "If we know the tumour from which emerged these cells, we can provide the most appropriate therapy for a patient and improve his or her survival."

The investigation involves several IDIBELL researchers linked to IDIBELL's scientific partners: the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the Bellvitge University Hospital.

Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research (IDIBELL) is a research center created in 2004 with the participation of the Bellvitge University Hospital, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona, and the Institute of Image Diagnosis. IDIBELL is integrated in Biopol'H, the health and scientific park of l'Hospitalet de Llobregat-Barcelona.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. F. Fernandez, Y. Assenov, J. Martin-Subero, B. Balint, R. Siebert, H. Taniguchi, H. Yamamoto, M. Hidalgo, A.-C. Tan, O. Galm, I. Ferrer, M. Sanchez-Cespedes, A. Villanueva, J. Carmona, J. V. Sanchez-Mut, M. Berdasco, V. Moreno, G. Capella, D. Monk, E. Ballestar, S. Ropero, R. Martinez, M. Sanchez-Carbayo, F. Prosper, X. Agirre, M. F. Fraga, O. Grana, L. Perez-Jurado, J. Mora, S. Puig, J. Prat, L. Badimon, A. A. Puca, S. J. Meltzer, T. Lengauer, J. Bridgewater, C. Bock, M. Esteller. A DNA methylation fingerprint of 1,628 human samples. Genome Research, 2011; DOI: 10.1101/gr.119867.110

Cite This Page:

IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute. "Researchers characterize 'epigenetic fingerprints' of 1,628 people." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602081842.htm>.
IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute. (2011, June 2). Researchers characterize 'epigenetic fingerprints' of 1,628 people. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602081842.htm
IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute. "Researchers characterize 'epigenetic fingerprints' of 1,628 people." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602081842.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins