September 18


Epigenetics Overview

By heheals

September 18, 2020

Brief introduction to epigenetic regulation including the the two states of chromatin: euchromatin and heterochromatin.


Epigenetic regulation encompasses a number of different modifications to chromatin. These include methylation of the DNA on cytosine bases, a modification that can further be oxidized, as well as modification of the histone tails that emanate from the core of the nucleosome. The tails of core histones labeled here can be altered with distinct chemical modifications including methylation of Histone H3, acetylation of Histone H4, and phosphorylation of Histone H2B. Euchromatin is often characterized by a more open and accessible state of the DNA one in which transcription factors have access to their cognate binding sites and can therefore recruit enzymes like histone acetyl transferases that acetylate histone tails and activate genes by recruiting components of the basal transcriptional machinery, including RNA polymerase. Heterochromatin ,in contrast, is thought to be characterized by a more repressive tight
bundling of nucleosomes which impedes transcription factors from gaining access to regulatory sites on the DNA. Methylation of cytosine bases and regions called CpG Islands is a hallmark of transcriptionally repressed heterochromatin. These methylated cytosines in turn recruit proteins like MeCP2 (Methyl CpG binding protein 2) and HP1 (Heterochromatin Protein 1). These proteins are thought to maintain a repressive state of chromatin by inducing histone deacetylation by HDACs as well as histone tail methylation by histone methyltransferase enzymes.



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  1. Can you see the therapeutic value of this? Why do you think the health authorities in Canada and US are opposed to exploring this kind of approach to mental conditions? They seem to think that having hallucinations is no way to go about it while we have them every time we dream… That is a bit odd, especially knowing that the plant medicine has no harmful side effects when properly guided and that it is not addictive. The proof that we can change the harmful metabolic patterns cannot be denied!

  2. Epigenetic marks such as methylation of DNA and histones were once thought to be quite permanent. However, while we know these marks can be maintained through many cell divisions, recent discovery of DNA and histone de-methylase enzymes have shown these marks to be more dynamic than originally thought. In addition, many studies have shown that environmental variables such as diet and medicines/drugs can alter gene expression and affect long-term epigenetic programming.

  3. I appreciate your response to my question however, I wonder how permanent these epigenetic factors might be. You might want to examine what happens when someone takes Ibogaine or Ayahuasca (Two strong alkaline plant medicines). They are believed to detoxify as well as correct most of the symptoms observed in complex PTSD. What do you make of that? As you might already know DMT is involved and I have reason to believe that DMT can re-establish gene expression in a permanent way.

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