Our DNA is like an instruction manual for our bodies.
Our bodies are very complicated and so is how our DNA is packaged. This helps it fit in such a small space in our very tiny cells.
Our DNA is wrapped around proteins called histones.
The DNA and histones are tightly packed into a structure called chromatin. The way the body changes chromatin allows us to read our instruction manual properly. The actual writing, reading and erasing of the instructions in chromatin happens through epigenetic machinery.
Genes are the instructions in our DNA that are used to make important substances the body needs. These important substances that tell the body what the genes say are both RNA and protein. Not all of our genes are turned “on” to make RNA and protein at all times. Where and when genes are turned “on” or “off” is very important. This turning on and off of genes must be very carefully regulated. How they are regulated or turned on or off is called epigenetics.
What Is an Epigenetic Syndrome?
Epigenetic syndromes can be caused by a change or misspelling in a gene important in controlling how our genes are turned on and off. These important genes make machinery called epigenetic regulators. Epigenetic regulators control many genes at a time. They do so by changing the level of gene messages available at any given moment. If the epigenetic regulators are not working properly, many genes are affected because they control so many. A change to an epigenetic regulator can affect how someone grows, develops and many other aspects of a person’s life. Some of the common features are learning difficulties, immune system problems, digestive problems, eye problems, growth differences and limb differences.
A Holistic Approach for Epigenetic Syndromes