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T108 - Epigenetics : from biological phenomena to molecular mechanisms

Download 2023-2024 planning

Biology Master, ENS
Year : 1 (M1)
Semester : 1 (S1)

Course code :


Course name :

Epigenetics : from biological phenomena to molecular mechanisms

Coordinators :

Vincent Colot and Barbara Despres



Keywords :

gene, genome, mendelian and non-mendelian inheritance, DNA and histones modifications, heterochromatin, euchromatin, transposons, RNA interference, epimutations. Techniques : ChIP-seq, DNA bisulfite treatment and sequencing, sRNA-profiling, Chromosome conformation capture.

Prerequisites for the course :

Genetics/epigenetics course and molecular biology.

Course objectives and description :

The objective of this course is to discover the paradigms of epigenetics : from the epigenetic phenomenons to the molecular mechanisms. Topics include maintenance of chromatin states, role of small RNAs and long non-coding RNAs in epigenetic regulation and inheritance, parental imprinting, X-inactivation in mammals, paramutation, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in plants and prions as epigenetic phenomenon. This course is organized through seminars and analysis of articles.

Assessment / evaluation :

written exam : analysis of scientific articles (75%), home assignment : summary of one of the conferences (25%).

Course material (hand-outs, online presentation available, …) :

PDF presentations of talks available online.

Suggested readings in relationship with the module content (textbook chapters, reviews, articles) :

 Epigenetics (2nd edition), Allis CD, Caparros M-L, Jenuwein T, Reinberg D, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.(2015)
 Epigenetics, cellular memory and gene regulation. Henikoff S, Greally JM. Curr Biol. 26(14):R644-8 (2016)
 Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance : myths and mechanisms. Heard E, Martienssen R. Cell 157(1):95-109 (2014)
 Regulation of X-chromosome dosage compensation in human : mechanisms and model systems. Sahakyan A, Plath K, Rougeulle C. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 372(1733) (2017)
 Different yet similar : evolution of imprinting in flowering plants and mammals. Pires ND, Grossniklaus U. F1000Prime Rep, 6:63 (2014)
 Paramutation and related phenomena in diverse species. Hollick JB. Nat Rev Genet. 18(1):5-23 (2017).