On the use of the word ‘epigenetic’

  title={On the use of the word ‘epigenetic’},
  author={Mark Ptashne},
  journal={Current Biology},
  • M. Ptashne
  • Published 3 April 2007
  • Geology
  • Current Biology
Epigenetics and memigenetics
  • J. Mann
  • Biology
    Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
  • 2014
An alternative term, ‘memigenetics’, could be used in place of epigenetics to describe inherited chromatin activity states, which is self-defining, and would serve to emphasize the important concept of cell memory.
Epigenetics, cellular memory and gene regulation
Epigenetics: A way to bridge the gap between biological fields.
Conceptual Confusion: The case of Epigenetics
This network dynamics approach replaces the reductionist correspondence of molecular epigenetic modifications with concept of the epigenetic landscape, by providing a concrete and crisp correspondence.
Scrutinizing the epigenetics revolution
It is suggested that these complementary strands provide both an epistemically and socially self-reflective framework to advance the study of epigenetics as a molecular juncture between nature and nurture and thus as the new critical frontier in the social studies of the life sciences.
The cell biology of DNA methylation in mammals.
By presenting the formal concepts of dynamical systems theory, it is shown that the “epigenetic landscape” is more than a metaphor: it has specific mathematical foundations that explain how gene regulatory networks produce multiple attractor states, the self-stabilizing patterns of gene activation across the genome that account for “Epigenetic memory”.
Chromatin structure and the inheritance of epigenetic information
The multiple mechanisms that potentially affect the inheritance of epigenetic information in somatic cells are reviewed and the importance of positive-feedback loops, long-range gene interactions and the complex network of trans-acting factors in the transmission of chromatin states is discussed.
Faddish Stuff: Epigenetics and the Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics
  • M. Ptashne
  • Biology
    FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
  • 2013
“Epigenetic changes are short-term heritable alterations in gene expression that are not due to mutations . . . . Like variations in a letter’s font . . .we are still at sea as to how it all works .


Genes and Signals
Genes & Signals analyzes gene regulation from a new perspective and proposes how a rather restricted set of signals and enzymatic functions has been used in evolution to generate complex life forms of different types.
Chromosomal landscape of nucleosome-dependent gene expression and silencing in yeast
The results indicate that histones make Sir-independent contributions to telomeric silencing, and that the role of histones located elsewhere in chromosomes is gene specific rather than generally repressive.
Unanswered Questions about the Role of Promoter Methylation in Carcinogenesis
  • T. Bestor
  • Biology
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2003
Abstract: It has been proposed that tumor suppressor genes can be silenced by ectopic de novo methylation during tumor progression and that this epigenetic silencing is an alternative to mutation in
Overcoming telomeric silencing: a trans-activator competes to establish gene expression in a cell cycle-dependent way.
It is concluded that once established, telomeric silent chromatin is a relatively stable structure, making a gene recalcitrant to activation, which helps explain the stochastic nature of phenotypic switching in variegated gene expression.
Epigenetic Gene Regulation in the Bacterial World
DNA adenine methylation plays roles in the virulence of diverse pathogens of humans and livestock animals, including pathogenic Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Vibrio, Yersinia, Haemophilus, and Brucella.
Yeast heterochromatin is a dynamic structure that requires silencers continuously.
It is shown that silencing factors can associate with and stabilize preassembled silent chromatin in non-S-phase cells demonstrates that heterochromatin in yeast is dynamic.