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Monozygotic twins: genes are not the destiny?

Author(s): Aniruddha Chatterjee* | Ian M Morison

Journal: Bioinformation
ISSN 0973-2063

Volume: 7;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 369;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: monozygotic twins | epigenetics | DNA methylation | next-generation sequencing

Monozygotic twins are considered to be genetically identical, yet can show high discordance in their phenotypes and disease susceptibility. Several studies have emphasized the influence of external factors and the role of epigenetic polymorphism in conferring this variability. However, some recent high-resolution studies on DNA methylation show contradicting evidence, which poses questions on the extent of epigenetic variability between twins. The advent of next-generation sequencing technologies now allow us to interrogate multiple epigenomes on a massive scale and understand the role of epigenetic modification, especially DNA methylation, in regulating complex traits. This article briefly discusses the recent key findings, unsolved questions in the area, and speculates on the future directions in the field.
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