Epigenomics is the study of epigenetic modifications on the genetic material of a cell. The key difference between epigenomics and genomics is that epigenomics studies changes on the surface of DNA while genomics looks at changes within DNA. Epigenetic modifications are reversible modifications on a cell’s DNA or histones that affect gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. Such modifications affect regulation of gene activities, occurs independently of genomic changes, and cannot be detected by genomic means.
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. While most epigenomic companies focus on DNA methylation, Auristone’s core technology centres around histone modifications.