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The value of twins in epigenetic epidemiology.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22253312     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
During past decades, twin studies have played an important role in genetic epidemiology studies of complex traits. The strength of twin studies lies in the ability to disentangle genetic and environmental factors that contribute to a phenotype, by comparing genetically identical monozygotic twins to dizygotic twins, who share on average 50% of genetic variants. Twin studies now offer the opportunity to study epigenetic variation across the genome with two aims. First, twin studies can improve our understanding of the factors regulating epigenetic variability by assessing the heritability of epigenetic variants. Secondly, the use of twins in epigenetic research is increasingly recognized as an important approach to help unravel the complexities associated with human development and disease. The strategic use of identical twins discordant for complex disease has revealed the importance of linking epigenetic disruption to the disease-associated risk in humans. Lastly, we also discuss the possibility that epigenetic effects on disease may in part explain some of the missing heritability in genome-wide association studies. The study of human epigenetic factors in twins can inform the role of genetics, as well as in utero and postnatal environments to the establishment, maintenance and functional consequences of human epigenome variation.
Authors:
Jordana T Bell; Richard Saffery
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-1-9
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of epidemiology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1464-3685     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-1-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7802871     Medline TA:  Int J Epidemiol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, UK, Cancer, Disease and Developmental Epigenetics, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria, Australia and Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
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