EPIGENETIC REGULATION OF GENE EXPRESSION
Chromatin structure and organization; ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling systems. DNA methylation. Post-translational modifications of histones: acetylation, phosphorylation and methylation. Histone-modifying enzymes and their structural domains. Heterochromatin and epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Genomic Imprinting. Monoallelic gene expression. Epigenetic control of transposable elements. Role of non-coding RNA in epigenetic modification. Examples: Molecular mechanisms of drugs of abuse and circadian rhythm.
EPIGENETICS, CELL CYCLE AND CANCER
Regulation of gene expression during the cell cycle. The cyclin-kinase complexes and the regulation of their activity. Cell cycle control mechanisms: the role of retinoblastoma and p53 proteins.
Alterations of the cell cycle and epigenetic modifications involved in malignant transformation
LONG TERM REGULATION OF GENE EXPRESSION: DEVELOPMENT AND DIFFERENTIATION
Drosophila to model gene expression regulation during development.
Maternal effect genes that effect the anterior-posterior and the and the dorsal-ventral polarity.
The segmentation genes and the zygotic effect. hunchback a transcriptional repressor. Eve promoter structure.The homeotic genes and the definition of homeotic mutation. The complex antennipedia and bithorax. The homeodomain. the polycomb group proteins and the "freezing of decisions taken".
STEM CELLS: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS
Biological characteristics of stem cells: definition and characteristics of embryonic, amniotic and adult stem cells. Transcriptional regulation circuits associated with pluripotency: the triad Oct4, Nanog and Sox2; the polycomb group proteins and the chromatinic structure. Epigenetic modifications and cell identity in stem cells. Nuclear reprogramming and pluripotency induction methods (iPS). Applications of iPS. Tumor stem cells: biomolecular characteristics. Therapeutic potential of stem cells.
EPIGENETICS and NUTRITION
Principles and examples
LABORATORY (1 ECTS):
ChIP Analysis of c-fos promoter in human cells upon stimulation with serum.