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Australian epigenetics research news April – May 2017

Here are some highlights from the Australian epigenetics landscape over April and May 2017:

Intron retention is regulated by altered MeCP2-mediated splicing factor recruitment

In an elegant study led by Prof John Rasko from the Centenary Institute, University of Sydney, methylation has been shown to directly regulate intron retention (IR). The study showed that splice junctions with reduced DNA methylation are a mark of IR, and that this is widespread in normal and cancer cells. Lower methylation was shown to be associated with lower MeCP2 density at splice junctions and the authors conclude by demonstrating that lower MeCP2 levels result in reduced recruitment of splicing factors and a loss of splicing at these junctions. The study gives molecular insight into why specific introns are retained in health and disease, whereas others are not, and epigenetic regulation has been demonstrated to be key. Click here for the full text PDF.

Comprehensive evaluation of genome-wide 5-hydroxymethylcytosine profiling approaches in human DNA

In a study led by Dr Clare Stirzaker and Dr Sue Clark at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Skvortsova et al  carry out a comprehensive assessment of currently available genome wide 5-hydroxymethylcytosine profiling approaches. The study compares whole-genome bisulphite/oxidative bisulphite sequencing, Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip arrays coupled with oxidative bisulphite and antibody-based immunoprecipitation and sequencing of hydroxymethylated DNA (hMeDIP-seq). The authors compare the different methods for their precision, sensitivity and cost effectiveness and conclude on the most effective uses for each. To read further – here is the full text PDF.

Epigenetics and the evolution of instincts

In the April edition of Science Magazine, Associate Professor Andrew Barron from the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney, together with Dr Gene E. Robinson from the Carl R. Woese Institute in Illinois, USA, expounded on the link between epigenetics and the evolution of instinct. The author’s cite epigenetic influences on behaviour that stabilize long-term changes to neural circuits. They then postulate that “evolutionary changes in epigenetic mechanisms may sculpt a learned behaviour into an instinct by decreasing its dependence on external stimuli in favor of an internally regulated program of neural development”. For a thought provoking read, here’s the PDF.

The Dimensions, Dynamics, and Relevance of the Mammalian Noncoding Transcriptome

Ira Deveson with Simon Hardwick, Dr Tim Mercer and Professor John Mattick from the Gravan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney have written a broad review of the key studies, and advancements in technology, relating to the mammalian noncoding transcriptome. The review collates and explicates on studies that “shape our understanding of the dimensions, dynamics and biological relevance” of these epigenetic regulators. For the PDF click here

Epigenetics and immunotherapy: The current state of play.

From the Health Research Institute at the University of Canberra Professor Sudha Rao with Jenny Dunn assess “the promise of combined epigenetic therapy and immunotherapy.” The review gives background into epigenetic therapy, the mechanisms of immune escape in cancer and how epigenetic immunomodulation primes the immune system for immunotherapy. The paper points out that there is robust data to combine the two therapies to improve outcomes for patients with many different cancer types. The PDF of this review can be found here.

 – Do you have any research news you would like to share with AEpiA members? Please email us about any recent publications, awards or events!

Abstract submission deadline extended

Abstract submission deadline extended

to Tuesday 1st August

7th Australian Epigenetics Conference

29 October – 1 November 2017

Brisbane

Discover the epigenetic innovations of the future. Learn, collaborate and be inspired. Join us in Brisbane to find out about the rapidly moving field of epigenetics and its implications in disease progression and therapy.

 

This is your chance to submit abstracts on the following conference themes:

  • Epigenetic therapies and biomarkers
  • Development and inheritance
  • Epigenetic mechanisms
  • Functional epigenomics
  • Epigenetics and disease
  • Epitranscriptomics

Abstracts are to be a maximum of 300 words (text only) and you can submit as an oral or poster presentation.

To submit your abstract, please click the Submit Abstract button below.

Thank you to our sponsors…

Save the date – EPIGENETICS 2017

Save the Date!

7th Australian Epigenetics Conference

29 October – 1 November 2017

Brisbane

Mark the date in your diary and join us at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane for the 7th Epigenetics Australian Scientific Conference.

Discover the epigenetic innovations of the future. Learn, collaborate and be inspired. Join us in Brisbane to find out about the rapidly moving field of epigenetics and its implications in disease progression and therapy.

Themes include:

  • Epigenetic Therapies and Biomarkers
  • Development and Inheritance
  • Epigenetic Mechanisms
  • Functional Epigenomics
  • Epigenetics and Disease
Registrations and call for abstracts will be opening in early April 2017.

For further enquires please do not hesitate call the Conference Secretariat on 07 3368 2422 or email epi@yrd.com.au