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Paediatrician’s guide to epigenetics

Abstract

Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is critical for normal development. Dysregulation of the epigenome can lead to the development and progression of a number of diseases relevant to paediatricians, including disorders of genomic imprinting and malignancies. It has long been recognised that early life events have implications for future disease risk, and epigenetic modifications may play a role in this, although further high-quality research is needed to better understand the underlying mechanisms. Research in the field of epigenetics will contribute to a greater understanding of growth, development and disease; however, paediatricians need to be able to interpret such research critically, in order to use the potential advances brought about through epigenetic studies while appreciating their limitations.

  • epigenetic
  • dna methylation
  • histone
  • genomic imprinting
  • developmental origins of health and disease

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