Epigenetics: heritable changes in gene expression occurring without a change in DNA sequence.

In 1949, here at the University of Western Ontario, Barr and Bertram discovered the condensed X chromosome (the Barr Body) in female cells. Their discovery helped launch the field of epigenetics.

Nearly 60 years later, we continue their work. We’re using molecular approaches to understand the roles of DNA methylation and histone modifications in regulating chromatin organization and gene expression during embryonic development and in tumourigenesis.

‘Barr body’ from:

Moore and Barr (1955) Lancet 2, 57.

An overview of our group: Summary2008.pdf  and our Epigenetics Review Paper.

Meet our Scientists:

Our Recent Publications:

We are located at: the Victoria Research Laboratories at London Health Sciences Centre

...click here to see our research labs: ResearchLabs.pdf

Seah C, Levy MA, Jiang Y, Mokhtarzada S, Higgs DR, Gibbons RJ, Bérubé NG. (2009) Neuronal death resulting from targeted disruption of the Snf2 protein ATRX is mediated by p53. J Neurosci. 28(47):12570-80.

Rodenhiser DI. (2009) Epigenetic contributions to cancer metastasis. Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 26(1):5-18.

DOI: 10.1007/s10585-008-9166-2

Medina CF, Mazerolle C, Wang Y, Bérubé NG, Coupland S, Gibbons RJ, Wallace VA, Picketts DJ. (2009) Altered visual function and interneuron survival in Atrx knockout mice: inference for the human syndrome. Hum Mol Genet. 18(5):966-77.

Levy MA, Fernandes AD, Tremblay DC, Seah C, Bérubé NG (2008)

The SWI/SNF protein ATRX co-regulates pseudoautosomal genes that have translocated to autosomes in the mouse genome. BMC Genomics;9:468.

Solomon LA, Bérubé NG, Beier F. (2008) Transcriptional regulators of chondrocyte hypertrophy. Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today 84(2):123-13

Pin CL, Johnson CL, Rade B, Kowalik AS, Garside VC, Everest ME (2008)

Identification of a transcription factor, BHLHB8, involved in mouse seminal vesicle epithelium differentiation and function. Biol Reprod. 78(1):91-100.

Kuzmin A, Han Z, Golding MC, Mann MR, Latham KE, Varmuza S. (2008)

The PcG gene Sfmbt2 is paternally expressed in extraembryonic tissues.

Gene Expr Patterns 8(2):107-16.

Rodenhiser D, Andrews J, Kennette W, Sadikovic B, Mendlowitz A, Tuck AB, Chambers AF. (2008)  Epigenetic mapping and functional analysis in a breast cancer metastasis model using whole-genome promoter tiling microarrays. Breast Cancer Research 10(4): R62.

Ritchie K, Seah C, Moulin J, Isaac C, Dick F, Bérubé NG. (2008)

Loss of ATRX leads to chromosome cohesion and congression defects.

J Cell Biol. 180(2):315-24.

Sadikovic B, Andrews J, Carter D, Robinson J, Rodenhiser DI. (2008) Genome-wide H3K9 histone acetylation profiles are altered in benzopyrene treated MCF7 breast cancer cells. J Biol Chem. 283(7):4051-60.

Seifried LA, Talluri S, Cecchini M, Julian LM, Mymryk JS, Dick FA. (2008)

pRB-E2F1 Complexes are Resistant to Adenovirus E1A-Mediated Disruption. J Virology 82(9):4511-20.

Julian LM, Palander O, Seifried LA, Foster JE, Dick FA. (2008)  Characterization of an E2F1-specific binding domain in pRB and its implications for apoptotic regulation. Oncogene 27(11):1572-9.

Bérubé NG, Healy J, Medina CF, Wu S, Hodgson T, Jagla M, Picketts DJ. (2008) Patient mutations alter ATRX targeting to PML nuclear bodies.

Eur J Hum Genetics 16(2):192-201.

Kowalik AS, Johnson CL, Chadi SA, Weston JY, Fazio EN, Pin CL (2007)

Mice lacking the transcription factor Mist1 exhibit an altered stress response and increased sensitivity to caerulein-induced pancreatitis.

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 292(4):G1123-32.

Weksberg R, Shuman C, Wilkins-Haug L, Mann M, et al. (2007) Workshop report: evaluation of genetic and epigenetic risks associated with assisted reproductive technologies and infertility. Fertil Steril. 2007 88(1): 27-31.

Sadikovic B, Andrews J, Rodenhiser DI. (2007) DNA methylation analysis using CpG microarrays is impaired in benzopyrene exposed cells. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 225(3):300-309.

Postdoctoral Fellowships available: see the advertisement here.

In March 2008, we presented papers

at the CSBMCB meeting

‘Epigenetics and Chromatin Dynamics’

in Banff.

click here to see larger picture

Supported by the Children’s Health Foundation

    Click here to access the: Epigenetics Resource Portal


The Epigenetics Profiling and Reprogramming Research Group

at the Children’s Health Research Institute and the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.