Understanding how the information in the genome is dynamically decoded is a central question in modern biology. Hereby, regulatory mechanisms controlling time, dynamics, strength and proprieties of gene expression constitute major objects of research. It is now clear that the DNA associates with proteins in the chromatin fiber, which is the substrate for functionally relevant chemical modifications. Chromatin modifications and their dynamics are epigenetic regulatory mechanisms and generally they are essential for regulating gene expression in mammalian cells. They play critical roles in development, physiological adaptation to environmental cues, disease onset and progression and importantly, transgenerational inheritance of certain environmentally induced phenotypes.
The Aguilar-Arnal Lab at the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas-UNAM investigates epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of gene expression programs which are functionally relevant in health and disease. We use a combination of mouse models of disease and human cultured cell lines to dissect critical epigenetic regulatory mechanisms responsible for transitions between health and illness.