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Epigenetics refers to DNA and chromatin modifications that persist from one cell division to the next, without any changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Some epigenetic changes show transgenerational inheritance meaning that these changes can be passed from one generation to the next. Epigenetics plays an important role in cellular differentiation, allowing dinstict cell types to have specific characteristics despite sharing the same DNA sequence. Some examples of epigenetic processes include imprinting, gene silencing, paramutation, X chromosome inactivation, reprogramming, position effect, maternal effects, heterochromatination and some carcinogenesis. The mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance systems can be categorized to at least 4 routes by which epigenetic changes persist over time. These routes include DNA methylation, chromatin modifications/variations, non-coding RNAs and ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling.
Because of the critical importance of epigenetics in regulation of development and cellular function/fate, the main interest of this research group is to study the molecular mechanisms of the cellular memory and function, with the special focus on chromatin modifications on the marker genes of different cellular processes. The epigenetics sub-group has held 6 workshops in “Chromatin immunoprecipitation in Epigenetic analysis” in the past eight years, observing different methods of epigenetic analyses at the single gene as well as whole genome levels.

Group Leader
Maryam Shahhoseini, PhD

Research Assistants
Raha Favaedi, MSc

Current student trainees
Narges Khamei
F. Nanvakenari
N. Emami
G. Salehi
S. Shabanali
N. Goli
Sh. Moini
N. Barjasteh
S. Habibi
B. Davoudi Nik
E. Teymorbakhsh
H. Maghareh Abed
M. Soltani
Z. Tabatabaei
P. Houshangi
S. Kasani
Z. Borandegi
N. Mianmahaleh
Zh. Mollaei
Z. Jazari
B. Salmani
M. Khademi
M. Ghorbani
M. Seyed Salehi
R. Zavari
N. Mirzadeh
N. Amiri
A. Ebrahimi
M. Jahanbakhsh
D. Sharifi


Current Fields of Research

A)    Epigenetics of Stem Cell/Differentiation
•    in EC, ES and MS cells
•    in HSC through co-culture with MSCs
•    Differentiation of MSCs to bone through curcumin treatment

B)    Epigenetics of Male/Female Infertility
•    Epigenetic aspects of Endometriosis and PCOS
•    Epigenetic analysis of marker genes involved in Spermatogenesis such as TNPs, PRMs, JMJD1A, CDY1 and CHD5
•    Differential expression of testis specific histone variants HIST1H1T, H1t, H1t.2 and TSH2B
•    Epigenetic analysis of T-type Ca2+، ENaC، CFTR and KCNQ1 ion channel coding genes in RIF
•    Epigenetic/ genetic effect of NAC treatment in endometrial receptivity

C)    Epigenetics of embryogenesis
•    Epigenetic effects of cryopreservation (early embryo, oocyte, ovary)
•    Epigenetic effects of in vitro fertilization (IVF) methods

 

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