Unexplored potentials of epigenetic mechanisms of plants and animals-theoretical considerations.
Bottom Line: Genes are regulated-in part-by epigenetic mechanisms resulting in alternating patterns of gene expressions throughout life.Epigenetic changes responding to the environmental and intercellular signals can turn on/off specific genes, but do not modify the DNA sequence.Finally, we hypothesize that animal genome can be reprogrammed by epigenetic factors from the plant protoplast.
Affiliation: Seffer-Renner Medical Clinic, Budapest, Hungary.
Morphological and functional changes of cells are important for adapting to environmental changes and associated with continuous regulation of gene expressions. Genes are regulated-in part-by epigenetic mechanisms resulting in alternating patterns of gene expressions throughout life. Epigenetic changes responding to the environmental and intercellular signals can turn on/off specific genes, but do not modify the DNA sequence. Most epigenetic mechanisms are evolutionary conserved in eukaryotic organisms, and several homologs of epigenetic factors are present in plants and animals. Moreover, in vitro studies suggest that the plant cytoplasm is able to induce a nuclear reassembly of the animal cell, whereas others suggest that the ooplasm is able to induce condensation of plant chromatin. Here, we provide an overview of the main epigenetic mechanisms regulating gene expression and discuss fundamental epigenetic mechanisms and factors functioning in both plants and animals. Finally, we hypothesize that animal genome can be reprogrammed by epigenetic factors from the plant protoplast.
No MeSH data available.
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Mentions: The importance of the discovery by Gurdon130 that specialization of cells is reversible and by Shinya Yamanaka128 that intact mature cells can be reprogrammed to become immature stem cells is acclaimed by award of Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012. Notably, there is a great difference between the cellular plasticity of plants and animals. Cellular plasticity is the ability of cells to change their structure or function to become a different type of cell is, as we understand today, depending on the epigenetic regulation of gene expression (Fig. 2). Plasticity of plant cells to transdifferentiate into various types of cells is much higher than that of animal cells, which implies a much “looser” chromatin structure. This, however, should not be interpreted that the chromatin structure is less complex or that it is more complicated to regulate.131,132 Further in vitro epigenetic experiments and in vivo experiments, such as xeno-transplantation, may reveal this phenomenon. Based on experimental results, it may be possible to reprogram a fully differentiated animal cell nucleus using a recipient plant protoplast, a hypothesis which should be verified by future research.
No MeSH data available.