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Code: 60204
ECTS: 5.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Vlatka Zoldoš
Lecturers: prof. dr. sc. Vlatka Zoldoš - Seminar

dr. sc. Marija Klasić - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


All teaching activities will be held in Croatian. However, foreign students in mixed groups will have the opportunity to attend additional office hours with the lecturer and teaching assistants in English to help master the course materials. Additionally, the lecturer will refer foreign students to the corresponding literature in English, as well as give them the possibility of taking the associated exams in English.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 15
Practicum 30
Seminar 15
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
The main course objective is to gain understanding how chromatin organisation is associated with gene transcriptional regulation. The interplay between different epigenetic mechanisms in regulation of gene expression will be explained, as well as how these epigenetic mechanisms provide a genome with certain plasticity and dynamics. The course will explain epigenetic role in differentiation during development of multicellular organisms and generation of different cell types with unique epigenomes. Also, it will be explained how epigenetic information is inherited during cell divisions, but also how transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, which is independent of genetic inheritance and do not follow Mendel's rules, adds to evolution. Therefore, the neo-Lamarkism or soft inheritance will be approached. The course will explain epigenetic root in complex multifactorial diseases and epigenetic entropy which occur during healthy ageing, and how external and internal environment affects eukaryotic epigenome. The most important epigenetic phenomena, such as genomic imprinting, dosage compensation and paramutations, will be explained.

The ultimate goal is that student achieve holistic knowledge of how genetics, cellular and molecular biology and epigenetics are linked in determining organism phenotype.

1. THE INTRODUCTION TO EPIGENETICS. Brief history of epigenetics: beginnings of understanding epigenetic concepts. Chromatin compaction: levels of chromatin folding. Indexing of chromatin with epigenetic marks. Covalent modification of histone tails: writers, interpreters and readers. Chromatin remmodeling. Histone variants (CENP-A, H2AZ, H3.3, macroH2AH2AX) in specific genome regions.
2. INHERITANCE OF EPIGENETIC INFORMATON: Chromatin replication; chromatin chaperons; inheritance of DNA methylation; inheritance of histone marks; Cell memory.
3. HETEROCHROMATIN FORMATION AND DISTRIBUTION and POSITION EFFECT VARIEGATION (PEV) in Drosophila. Role of small non-coding RNAs (snRNA) in gene silencing and formation of heterochromatin. PEV in other multicellular organisms.
4. X-CHROMOSOME INACTIVATION AND DOSAGE COMPENSATION. Models of dosage compensation in different organisms; Random inactivation of X-chromosome in mammals; Epigenetic mechanisms involved in X-chromosome inactivation; X-chromosome inactivation in marsupials. GENOMIC IMPRINTING. Historical overview; epigenetic mechanisms (DNA methyalation) involved in genomic imprinting; evolution of genomic imprinting; cloning of mammals and genomic imprinting.
5. DNA METHYLATION. Role of DNA methylation; cellular memory; replication and DNA methylation; mutagenicity of DNA methylation; patterns of cytosine methylation in different organisms including plants; DNA methylation and cancer; other human diseases associated with aberrant DNA methylation; CpG islands and gene body methylation; DNA demethylation; enzymes responsible for DNA methylation/demethylation; epigenetic reprogramming; methods for analysis of DNA methylation. 6. EPIGENETICS AND CANCER AND OTHER HUMAN DISEASES. Aberrant methylation in cancer; Knudson hypothesis; Sindroms Angelman and Prader-Willi, Rett sindrom, other sindroms. 7. ENVIRONMENTAL EPIGENETICS. % environmental factors affecting epigenome; Epigenome, environment and development; Epigenetic variation in population; human studies on monozygotic twins; Epigenetic adaptation and evolution; transgenerational epigenetic effects; Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. 8. PLANT EPIGENETICS: Molecular components of plant chromatin; DNA methylation in plant genomes; Heterochromatin in plant genomes; Roles of different non-coding RNAs in plant genomes; Regulation of plant development; Genomic imprinting in plants; Paramutations.

1. Detecting DNA methylation level using pyrosequencing following bisulfite conversion. In silico analysis of platforms for identification of CpG islands. Design of primers for pyrosequencing.
2. Detecting histone modifications using method of chromatin imunoprecipitation followed by quantitative PCR (ChIP-qPCR).

Students choose high quality recent publications (within 5 years) and present in form of Power Point presentation. The professor evaluate the comprehension of the topic, the clarity of presentation and ability of student to connect different topics of the epigenetic material.
  1. Allis C.D., Jenuwein T., Reinberg D., Caparros M-L. Epigenetics. 2007. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Cold Spring Harbor, NY.
    Lectures and protocols on web site: www.biol.pmf.hr
    On line materijali i originalni te revijalni znanstveni radovi iz određenih nastavnih jedinica
3. semester
Izborni predmeti - Genetika - Regular study - Molecular Biology
Consultations schedule: