Epigenetic Control by Histone Methylation

Published on October 1, 2007 Reviewed on September 21, 2015   68 min

Other Talks in the Series: Epigenetics

Henry Stewart Lectures Epigenetics 2005. Epigenetic Control by Histone Methylation. Thomas Jenuwein, Senior Scientist, IMP Vienna. I would like to start my lecture by illustrating the problem that I will be discussing,
which is the question whether the information that is stored in the DNA sequence will be sufficient to allow multicellular development to proceed, or whether there are additional mechanisms that help to facilitate and potentiate genetic information. We now know the DNA sequence of many modern organisms ranging from unicellular organisms, such as yeasts to the human genome, and there are around 35,000 genes in the human genome giving rise to more than 200 cell types. However, we are still far from understanding what is the molecular makeup of a stem cell based on a fully differentiated cell, or how does a young cell differ from an aged cell. And is all the information that is required to differentiate these cell types only residing in the DNA sequence or are there other mechanisms that help to stabilize it? Now, I would like to highlight this distinction,