, Volume 20, Issue 9-10, pp 604-611
Date: 18 Sep 2009

Interindividual variation in epigenomic phenomena in humans

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Abstract

Our knowledge of regulatory mechanisms of gene expression and other chromosomal processes related to DNA methylation and chromatin state is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Understanding how these epigenomic phenomena vary between individuals will have an impact on understanding their broader role in determining variation in gene expression and biochemical, physiological, and behavioural phenotypes. In this review we survey recent progress in this area, focusing on data available from humans. We highlight the role of obligatory (sequence-dependent) epigenomic variation as an important mechanism for generating interindividual variation that could impact our understanding of the mechanistic basis of complex trait architecture.

H. J. French and R. Attenborough contributed equally to this work.