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#7 NS 160 Diet - A transgenerational effect of diet...

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Överkalix is a locality (pop. 950) in Norrbotten, Sweden. Frequent feast/famine cycles throughout the 18 and early 19 hundreds. Homogeneous population with good documentation of population statistics. A transgenerational effect of diet?
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A transgenerational effect of diet? Average age of death and infant mortality did not vary with food availability during slow growth period (SGP) Kaati et al, European journal of human genetics, 2007
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This and other epidemiological studies have provided evidence that prenatal and early postnatal environmental factors influence the risk of developing various chronic diseases and that these risk factors can be inherited through epigenetic mechanisms. Charles Darwin Jean-Baptiste Lamarck Images courtesy of Wikipedia A transgenerational effect of diet?
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WHAT IS EPIGENETICS? Definitions may slightly vary but a good consensus is that: Epigenetics (literally above or in addition to genetics) refers to mitotically or meiotically heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve a change in DNA sequence EPIGENETICS & NUTRITION Epigenetic Focus, Environmental health perspectives, 2006
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EPIGENETIC MECHANISMS Epigenetic changes encompass various modifications to both DNA and chromatin including methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination and SUMOylation. Other mechanisms of epigenetic regulation include changes of gene expression by non-coding RNAs and mechanisms that control higher level organization of chromatin within the nucleus. EPIGENETICS & NUTRITION
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X-chromosome inactivation is the process that occurs in female mammals by which gene expression from one of the pair of X chromosomes is down- regulated to match the levels of gene expression from the single X chromosome that is present in males. The inactivation process involves a range of epigenetic mechanisms on the inactivated chromosome, including interactions with non- coding RNAs as well as changes in DNA methylation and histone modifications. Mammalian X-chromosome inactivation. X-chromosome inactivation begins with the synthesis of XIST (X-inactivation specific transcript) RNA from the XIC (X-inactivation center) locus. The association of XIST RNA with the X chromosome is correlated with the condensation of the chromosome. Both XIST association and chromosome condensation gradually move from the XIC locus outward to the chromosome ends. The details of how this occurs remain to be deciphered. © 2002 by Bruce Alberts X-CHROMOSOME INACTIVATION EPIGENETICS & NUTRITION
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The best characterized epigenetic processes are DNA methylation and histone modifications. DNA methylation adds a methyl group to the carbon 5 position of cytosine predominantly in regions that contain repetitive CpG residues (CpG islands). In general, DNA methylation represses gene transcription.
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