The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 64: 181 - 201 (2020)

Vol 64, Issue 1-2-3

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in India - First Part

Epigenetic regulation and transcriptional memory in development; selection facilitating prudence

Published: 23 June 2020

Akanksha Verma, Jayant Maini, Shruti Jain, Mohsen Ghasemi, Surbhi Kohli and Vani Brahmachari*

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Center for Biomedical Research, University of Delhi, Delhi, India


The epigenetic mechanisms regulating developmental gene expression are examples of a strategy to generate unique expression profiles with global regulators controlling several genes. In a simplified view, a common set of tools, that include DNA motif recognizing proteins (recruiters), binding/interacting surfaces (ARPs- actin related proteins), epigenetic writers (histone methyltransferases, acetylases), readers (chromatin remodeling proteins, PRC1 members) and erasers (demethylases, deacetylases) form complexes which not only regulate transcription, but also retain the transcriptional memory through mitosis. There are two arms of epigenetic regulation: covalent modification of DNA and the post-translational modification of histones. In this review, we discuss both of these aspects briefly to illustrate functional diversity. We discuss our efforts at utilization of the genome sequence data for de novo identification of new players and their functional validation in this remarkable process.


epigenetic regulation, cellular memory modules, INO80, PRE/TRE, moonlighting function

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