Cells are continuously exposed to various sources of insults, among which temperature variations are extremely common. Epigenetic mechanisms, critical players in gene expression regulation, undergo alterations due to these stressors, potentially leading to health issues. Despite the significance of DNA methylation and histone modifications in gene expression regulation, their changes following heat and cold shock in human cells remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the epigenetic profiles of human cells subjected to hyperthermia and hypothermia, revealing significant variations. Heat shock primarily led to DNA methylation increments and epigenetic modifications associated with gene expression silencing. In contrast, cold shock presented a complex scenario, with both methylation and demethylation levels increasing, indicating different epigenetic responses to the opposite thermal stresses. These temperature-induced alterations in the epigenome, particularly their impact on chromatin structural organization, represent an understudied area that could offer important insights into genome function and potential prospects for therapeutic targets.

Impact of heat and cold shock on epigenetics and chromatin structure

Casali, Claudio
;
Galgano, Luca;Zannino, Lorena;Siciliani, Stella;Cavallo, Margherita;Biggiogera, Marco
2024-01-01

Abstract

Cells are continuously exposed to various sources of insults, among which temperature variations are extremely common. Epigenetic mechanisms, critical players in gene expression regulation, undergo alterations due to these stressors, potentially leading to health issues. Despite the significance of DNA methylation and histone modifications in gene expression regulation, their changes following heat and cold shock in human cells remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the epigenetic profiles of human cells subjected to hyperthermia and hypothermia, revealing significant variations. Heat shock primarily led to DNA methylation increments and epigenetic modifications associated with gene expression silencing. In contrast, cold shock presented a complex scenario, with both methylation and demethylation levels increasing, indicating different epigenetic responses to the opposite thermal stresses. These temperature-induced alterations in the epigenome, particularly their impact on chromatin structural organization, represent an understudied area that could offer important insights into genome function and potential prospects for therapeutic targets.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1492677
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