Epigenetic reprogramming: Enforcer or enabler of developmental fate?
Version of Record online: 30 JUN 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists
Development, Growth & Differentiation
Special Issue: Epigenetics
Volume 52, Issue 6, pages 483–491, August 2010
How to Cite
Combes, A. N. and Whitelaw, E. (2010), Epigenetic reprogramming: Enforcer or enabler of developmental fate?. Development, Growth & Differentiation, 52: 483–491. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2010.01185.x
- Issue online: 21 JUL 2010
- Version of Record online: 30 JUN 2010
- Received 2 March 2010; revised 18 March 2010; accepted 19 March 2010.
- DNA methylation;
- histone modification;
A single fertilized egg is programmed to differentiate into a multitude of distinct cell types that comprise a multicellular organism. Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modifications are intricately involved in regulating developmental potential and cellular identity by establishing permissive or repressive chromatin states that are mitotically heritable. Here, we review the dynamics of major epigenetic marks during early mammalian development, and explore the question of whether DNA methylation and chromatin modifications enable or enforce changes that lead to the first cell fate decision.