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The peculiar genetics of the ribosomal DNA blurs the boundaries of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance

  • Farah Bughio
  • Keith A. Maggert
Review
  • 99 Downloads

Abstract

Our goal is to draw a line—hypothetical in its totality but experimentally supported at each individual step—connecting the ribosomal DNA and the phenomenon of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of induced phenotypes. The reasonableness of this hypothesis is offset by its implication, that many (or most) (or all) of the cases of induced-and-inherited phenotypes that are seen to persist for generations are instead unmapped induced polymorphisms in the ribosomal DNA, and thus are the consequence of the peculiar and enduringly fascinating genetics of the highly transcribed repeat DNA structure at that locus.

Keywords

rDNA Ribosomal DNA Epigenetics 

Abbreviations

BLM

Bloom syndrome protein

CTCF

CCCTC-binding factor

GWAS

Genome-wide association study

IR

Inverted repeat

LTR

Long terminal repeat

QTL

Quantitative trait locus

RT-QPCR

Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction

Su(var)

Suppressor of variation

Notes

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge Drs. Pamela Geyer, C.-Ting Wu, and Harmit Malik for the encouragement.

Author contribution statement

FB and KAM wrote, read, and approved the manuscript.

Funding information

The work was funded by an NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award (1R01GM123640), and support was provided by the UA. Cancer Center Core Grant (P30CA023074).

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, College of MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.University of Arizona Cancer CenterUniversity of Arizona College of MedicineTucsonUSA

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