Frontiers in Aging Science

Epigenetic Regulation and Adaptation to Stimuli

Author(s): Marios Kyriazis

Pp: 99-120 (22)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681083353116010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Changes and variations to physiological traits which are caused by environmental factors are studied by the science of epigenetics. This sub-section of genetics describes alterations in transcription which may result in different phenotypes depending on the influence of the environment. The study of epigenetic mechanisms is very relevant in ageing and, in particular, in situations involving external challenges and exposure to novel information. In this chapter, I will discuss some elements related to epigenetic regulation as applied to situations where humans are exposed to ‘positive challenges’ which aim to up-regulate somatic repair mechanisms. The role of epigenetic factors, including non-coding RNAs (such as microRNAs) will also be discussed in the context of an information-rich environment. In addition, I will explore certain principles (such as the Condition-Action rule) which are relevant to the operation of the adaptation mechanisms, and some mechanisms which govern the process of information assimilation by the cell. The underlying theme, which will also be explored in the following chapters, is the consideration of mechanisms that may result in reallocation of repair resources from the germ line back to the soma. Overall, the aim is to highlight factors, processes and principles which depend on the environment and may be involved in human health improvement.

Keywords: Adaptation, Condition-Action rule, Environmental challenges, Epigenetic landscape, Epigenetic regulation External stimulation, Germ line repair, Information, MicroRNAs, Soma-germ line conflict.

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