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Article Dans Une Revue Environment International Année : 2023

Present and future challenges for the investigation of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance

Résumé

Epigenetic pathways are essential in different biological processes and in phenotype-environment interactions in response to different stressors and they can induce phenotypic plasticity. They encompass several processes that are mitotically and, in some cases, meiotically heritable, so they can be transferred to subsequent generations via the germline. Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance (TEI) describes the phenomenon that phenotypic traits, such as changes in fertility, metabolic function, or behavior, induced by environmental factors (e.g., parental care, pathogens, pollutants, climate change), can be transferred to offspring generations via epigenetic mecha-nisms. Investigations on TEI contribute to deciphering the role of epigenetic mechanisms in adaptation, adver-sity, and evolution. However, molecular mechanisms underlying the transmission of epigenetic changes between generations, and the downstream chain of events leading to persistent phenotypic changes, remain unclear. Therefore, inter-, (transmission of information between parental and offspring generation via direct exposure) and transgenerational (transmission of information through several generations with disappearance of the triggering factor) consequences of epigenetic modifications remain major issues in the field of modern biology. In this article, we review and describe the major gaps and issues still encountered in the TEI field: the general challenges faced in epigenetic research; deciphering the key epigenetic mechanisms in inheritance processes; identifying the relevant drivers for TEI and implement a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to study TEI. Finally, we provide suggestions on how to overcome these challenges and ultimately be able to identify the specific contribution of epigenetics in transgenerational inheritance and use the correct tools for environmental science investigation and biomarkers identification.
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hal-04081241 , version 1 (05-06-2023)

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Manon Fallet, Mélanie Blanc, Michela Di Criscio, Philipp Antczak, Magnus Engwall, et al.. Present and future challenges for the investigation of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Environment International, 2023, 172, pp.107776. ⟨10.1016/j.envint.2023.107776⟩. ⟨hal-04081241⟩
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