Distinctions between transgenerational and non-transgenerational epimutations

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46 Scopus citations


Recent studies have described numerous environmentally-induced disruptions of the epigenome (epimutations) in mammals. While some of these appear to be corrected by normal germline-specific epigenetic reprogramming and are therefore not transmitted transgenerationally, others are not corrected and are transmitted over multiple subsequent generations. The mechanism(s) that distinguish transgenerational and non-transgenerational epimutations have not been delineated. This review examines several potential molecular and developmental distinctions between transgenerational and non-transgenerational epimutations in the context of the likelihood that any of these may or may not contribute to transgenerational inheritance of epimutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA methylation
  • Environmental disruptors
  • Epigenetics
  • Epimutations
  • Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


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