Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance: Myths and Mechanisms

Cell. 2014 Mar 27;157(1):95-109. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.045.

Abstract

Since the human genome was sequenced, the term "epigenetics" is increasingly being associated with the hope that we are more than just the sum of our genes. Might what we eat, the air we breathe, or even the emotions we feel influence not only our genes but those of descendants? The environment can certainly influence gene expression and can lead to disease, but transgenerational consequences are another matter. Although the inheritance of epigenetic characters can certainly occur-particularly in plants-how much is due to the environment and the extent to which it happens in humans remain unclear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Germ Cells
  • Humans
  • Plants / genetics