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Download Prenatal Arsenic Exposure and Altered Gene Expression
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Gene Expression and Epigenetic Regulation JESSICA LAINE AND ELIZABETH MARTIN The Central Dogma of Biology How does the cell control these processes? Research Questions in the Fry Lab What is the relationship between prenatal arsenic exposure and changes to gene expression? Are any of the genes that are altered in association with arsenic controlled by the epigenetic mechanism DNA methylation? How were these questions investigated? 38 newborns Arsenic exposure DNA Methylation Profiles RNA (Gene expression) Profiles Is there is a relationship between prenatal exposure to arsenic and functional epigenetic changes to newborn DNA ? Microarray analysis was used to determine which genes exhibited differential expression The microarray works by first extracting DNA or RNA and hybridizing different pieces representing different genes to a transcript It allows us to measure how many copies of each gene is expressed (i.e. has transcript) This can tell us whether there is no, some or a lot of RNA transcript in the cell What is a heatmap and how do you read it? Lower iAs Higher iAs ? ? ? ? 334 U-tAs-associated transcripts U-tAs (µg/L) A heatmap is a way to visualize data trends N=224 N=110 • • N=38 subjects with range of arsenic exposure, cord blood (vein) isolated Multi-variable models for association between arsenic exposure-prenatal and gene expression Conclusions There are 334 genes that show a change in transcript profiles in association with arsenic exposure in the 38 babies in the BEAR cohort There are gene that expression changes in both a positive and negative way: some genes expression profiles increase with increasing arsenic exposure and some gene expression profiles decrease with decreased arsenic exposure These changes suggest that prenatal arsenic exposure does affect a baby’sgene expression profile Are any of the genes that are altered in association with arsenic controlled by the epigenetic mechanism DNA methylation? The traditional view of DNA methylation What would you expect to find? What did we see when looking at individual genes? What did we see when looking at individual genes? RNA Transcript Gene Expression DNA Methylation Gene Methylation Where do these measurements come from? What conclusions can we draw from this? Methylation does indeed control for some genes’ gene expression, in this study we found 16 genes were controlled by gene expression Some of these genes were related to important birth outcome including gestational age and head circumference Questions? What did the researchers actually find? This pattern is present across the entire genome!