Epigenomics is the study of the complete set of epigenetic modifications on the genetic material of a cell, known as the epigenome. The field is analogous to genomics and proteomics, which are the study of the genome and proteome of a cell. The Epigenetic modifications are reversible modifications on a cells DNA or histones that affect gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. Two of the most characterized epigenetic modifications are DNA methylation and histone modification. Epigenetic modifications play an important role in gene expression and regulation, and are involved in numerous cellular processes such as in differentiation/development and tumorigenesis. The study of epigenetics on a global level has been made possible only recently through the adaptation of genomic high-throughput assays and the mechanisms governing phenotypic plasticity, or the capacity of a cell to change its state in response to stimuli, have long been the subject of research.
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Last date updated on June, 2014