Preservation of Epigenetic Memory During DNA Replication

J Stem Cell Res Ther (Edmond). 2016;1(1):00007. doi: 10.15406/jsrt.2015.01.00007. Epub 2015 Nov 26.


Faithful duplication of a cell's epigenetic state during DNA replication is essential for the maintenance of a cell's lineage. One of the key mechanisms is the recruitment of several critical chromatin modifying enzymes to the replication fork by proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Another mechanism is mediated by the dual function of some histone modifying enzymes as both "reader" and "writer" of the same modification. This capacity allows for parental histones to act as a seed to copy the modification onto nearby newly synthesized histones. In contrast to the vast quantity of research into the maintenance of epigenetic memory, little is known about how the recruitment of these maintenance enzymes changes during stem cell differentiation. This question is especially pertinent due to the recent emphasis on cell reprogramming for regenerative medicine.

Keywords: Chromatin; DNA Methylation; DNA Replication; Epigenetics; Histone Modification.