Epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian development


  • Prof Wolf Reik

    Babraham Institute

Project summary

Reprogramming is the erasure and rewriting of epigenetic marks, such as the methylation of DNA and the modification of histones. This phenomenon naturally occurs in germ cells (sperm and eggs) and in the newly formed embryo after fertilisation and is crucial for the establishment of totipotency (the ability of a cell to divide to produce all of the differentiated cells necessary for an organism). Professor Reik will explore the mechanisms of DNA demethylation; the types of epigenetic information that are resistant to erasure, potentially leading to inheritance of epigenetic marks; and how insights from this work can improve approaches in stem cell science and regenerative medicine.