Medicine & Environment
Diseases that are increasingly in the focus of the public, as for example cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, cannot be explained genetically on their own.
The missing, basic mechanisms in the understanding of disease development are suspected "above" the DNA: at the epigenome level.
Although the DNA of the cell contains the inherited genes from the parents and thus genotypically plays the fundamental role for the development and function of the organism (in healthy and pathological state), it is clear and obvious that a disease process cannot be explained by genetics alone. Epigenetics plays a decisive role here, in the above sense as well as the pathological and the healthy state.
The research area of epigenetics has shown in recent years that the molecular structures that are present in the cell nucleus as DNA also have regulatory effects on the genes. In numerous investigations in the IGL laboratory.
The molecular structures of the DNA, the so-called chromatin, can be changed on a molecular level and so have a dynamic effect on genes and cellular functions.
The seemingly limitless investigations by Dr. Patricia Kane (MD) in the USA and the IGL laboratory show that many of the modifications in the chromatin structure are influenced by environmental factors or toxins, are hereditary and largely reversible.
This makes the chromatin structure the crucial link between genes and the environment, the development and progress of diseases and thus clearly documents the epigenetic influences and changes.
The Aim of the IGL Laboratory is to transfer the findings from pure research into practical routine analysis that is useful for doctors and patients, because findings of such important and determining factors must be put into practice. We are increasingly bringing findings from epigenetic modifications into the focus of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson, dementia, multiple sclerosis, CFS, fibromyalgia syndromes and especially autism. The modulating mechanisms of epigenetics act directly on the genome through environmental factors (toxins!), however at a very early stage and therefore with impressive periods of time until disease emergence or break out.
Our understanding of environmental diseases has changed considerably in recent years. Not only acute toxicological problems are in the foreground, rather more the "creeping poisonings" and all toxicological effects in the epigenetic environment on humans - a task for generations of researchers and physicians! We care about the diseases of the 21st century.
IGL Labor GmbH is interested, among other things, in how non-genetic information can be transmitted over generations. A growing number of complex phenotypes, such as appearance, energy metabolism, mental state and longevity (lifespan) have recently been verified to a large extent by epigenetic information.
Epigenetic describes how changes in gene expression occur without changes in the DNA sequence. Proteins, RNA molecules or chemical modifications of histones and DNA can induce these epigenetic changes. It is not yet known how this information, which is not directly encoded on our DNA, is passed on from generation to generation.
Understanding the molecular determinants will provide information on how environmental changes can affect the health and our lifespan, not only the individual who experiences them but also their offspring.
One of our goals in epigenetic research is to identify these modified phenotypes and to enlighten the mechanisms of their transmission over generations.
Further epigenetic research approaches of IGL Labor GmbH:
- Autism and Epigenetics
- Understand molecular mechanisms to determine diseases in physiological context also in disease scenarios
- Viral effects in epigenetics and vaccines
- Transport proteins in the cell membrane
- DNA methylation patterns and their mutability by microRNA
- Somatic development of DNA methylation patterns in response to physiological stimuli
- Epigenetic factors of homeostasis
- DNA methylation targeting, readout mechanisms
- DNA methylation in cellular stress response and adaptation
- DNA storage and divergence of DNA methylation
- Epigenetic changes in the aging process, changes in chromatin structure at neurons and degerative diseases