Epigenetic mechanisms in diurnal cycles of metabolism and neurodevelopment

Weston T. Powell, Janine M LaSalle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The circadian cycle is a genetically encoded clock that drives cellular rhythms of transcription, translation and metabolism. The circadian clock interacts with the diurnal environment that also drives transcription and metabolism during light/dark, sleep/wake, hot/cold and feast/fast daily and seasonal cycles. Epigenetic regulation provides a mechanism for cells to integrate genetic programs with environmental signals in order produce an adaptive and consistent output. Recent studies have revealed that DNA methylation is one epigenetic mechanism that entrains the circadian clock to a diurnal environment. We also review recent circadian findings in the epigenetic neurodevelopmental disorders Prader-Willi, Angelman and Rett syndromes and hypothesize a link between optimal brain development and intact synchrony between circadian and diurnal rhythms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberddv234
Pages (from-to)R1-R9
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Issue numberR1
StatePublished - Oct 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Molecular Biology


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