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The past decade has seen a tremendous increase in interest and progress in the field of sperm epigenetics. Studies have shown that chromatin regulation during male germline development is multiple and complex, and that the spermatozoon possesses a unique epigenome. Its DNA methylation profile, DNA-associated proteins, nucleo-protamine distribution pattern and non-coding RNA set up a unique epigenetic landscape which is delivered, along with its haploid genome, to the oocyte upon fertilization, and therefore can contribute to embryogenesis and to the offspring health. An emerging body of compelling data demonstrates that environmental exposures and paternal lifestyle can change the sperm epigenome and, consequently, may affect both the embryonic developmental program and the health of future generations. This short review will attempt to provide an overview of what is currently known about sperm epigenome and the existence of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of paternally acquired traits that may contribute to the offspring phenotype.

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There are times in life when things are best left unsaid. So you bite your tongue or someone bites it for you. Either way, you are silenced and no - or less - harm is done. Nature also has its techniques for muffling genes whose products are not necessary at...