Environmental effects on gene expression phenotype have regional biases in the human genome

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Title
Environmental effects on gene expression phenotype have regional biases in the human genome
Author(s)
Jung Kyoon Choi; S C Kim
Bibliographic Citation
Genetics, vol. 175, no. 4, pp. 1607-1613
Publication Year
2007
Abstract
Phenotypic discordance between monozygotic twins, such as a difference in disease susceptibility, implicates the role of the environment in determining phenotype. To assess genomewide environmental effects on "gene expression phenotype," we employed a published microarray data set for twins. We found that variations in expression phenotypes between monozygotic twins have biases in their chromosomal locations. They also showed a strong inverse correlation with gene density. Genomic regions of low gene density were environmentally sensitive, containing genes involved in response to external signals, cell differentiation, and development, etc. Genetic factors were found to make no contribution to the observed regional biases, stressing the role of epigenetics. We propose that epigenetic modifications might occur more frequently in heterochromatic, gene-poor regions in response to environmental signals while gene-rich regions tend to remain in an active chromatin configuration for the constitutive expression of underlying genes.
ISSN
0016-6731
Publisher
Genetics Society America
DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.106.069047
Type
Article
Appears in Collections:
1. Journal Articles > Journal Articles
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