Epigenetic and Transcriptional Variability Shape Phenotypic Plasticity.

07 Feb 2018

Epigenetic and transcriptional variability contribute to the vast diversity of cellular and organismal phenotypes and are key in human health and disease. In this review, we describe different types, sources, and determinants of epigenetic and transcriptional variability, enabling cells and organisms to adapt and evolve to a changing environment. We highlight the latest research and hypotheses on how chromatin structure and the epigenome influence gene expression variability. Further, we provide an overview of challenges in the analysis of biological variability. An improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying epigenetic and transcriptional variability, at both the intra- and inter-individual level, provides great opportunity for disease prevention, better therapeutic approaches, and personalized medicine.