[Chen, Pao-Yang] Behavioral Epigenetics: Perspectives Based on Experience-Dependent Epigenetic Inheritance

POST:2019-09-16

Behavioral epigenetics studies how epigenetic alterations induced by experience and environmental stress may affect animal behavior. Adverse experiences from biological inheritance and parenting refer almost to what happened in life, for instance, childhood abuse, social defeat stress (socially isolated) and contact with toxins

Epigenetic regulation plays an important role in gene regulation, and epigenetic markers such as DNA methylation and histone modifications are generally described as switches that regulate gene expression. Behavioral epigenetics is defined as the study of how epigenetic alterations induced by experience and environmental stress may affect animal behavior. It studies epigenetic alterations due to environmental enrichment. Generally, molecular processes underlying epigenetic regulation in behavioral epigenetics include DNA methylation, post-translational histone modifications, noncoding RNA activity, and other unknown molecular processes. Whether the inheritance of epigenetic features will occur is a crucial question. In general, the mechanism underlying inheritance can be explained by two main phenomena: germline-mediated epigenetic inheritance and interact epigenetic inheritance of somatic cells through germline. In this review, we focus on examining behavioral epigenetics based on its possible modes of inheritance and discuss the considerations in the research of epigenetic transgenerational inheritance.

* You-Yuan Pang is from IPMB Summer Undergraduate Internship Program.

You-Yuan Pang *, Rita Jui-Hsien Lu* and Pao-Yang Chen (2019) Epigenomes