ERIC Number: EJ899519
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
Bioenergetics and the Epigenome: Interface between the Environment and Genes in Common Diseases
Wallace, Douglas C.
Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, v16 n2 p114-119 Jun 2010
Extensive efforts have been directed at using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify the genes responsible for common metabolic and degenerative diseases, cancer, and aging, but with limited success. While environmental factors have been evoked to explain this conundrum, the nature of these environmental factors remains unexplained. The availability of and demands for energy constitute one of the most important aspects of the environment. and FADH[subscript 2] to generate ATP through oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). The mitochondrial genome encompasses hundreds of nuclear DNA (nDNA)-encoded genes plus The flow of energy through the cell is primarily mediated by the mitochondrion, which oxidizes reducing equivalents from hydrocarbons via acetyl-CoA, NADH + H[superscript +], 37 mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-encoded genes. Although the mtDNA has a high mutation rate, only milder, potentially adaptive mutations are introduced into the population through female oocytes. In contrast, nDNA-encoded bioenergetic genes have a low mutation rate. However, their expression is modulated by histone phosphorylation and acetylation using mitochondrially-generated ATP and acetyl-CoA, which permits increased gene expression, growth, and reproduction when calories are abundant. Phosphorylation, acetylaton, and cellular redox state also regulate most signal transduction pathways and activities of multiple transcription factors. Thus, mtDNA mutations provide heritable and stable adaptation to regional differences while mitochondrially-mediated changes in the epigenome permit reversible modulation of gene expression in response to fluctuations in the energy environment. The most common genomic changes that interface with the environment and cause complex disease must, therefore, be mitochondrial and epigenomic in origin.
Descriptors: Genetics, Environmental Influences, Metabolism, Diseases, Energy, Cytology, Genetic Disorders, Molecular Structure, Biomedicine
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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