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Epigenome and transcriptome of nociception (Functional epigenomics of nociception)

16th national competition for scientific and technical research

The genome and epigenome

Senior Researcher : Ángel Manuel Carrión Rodríguez

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Research Centre or Institution : Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales. Universidad Pablo de Olavide. Sevilla


The specific or differentiated state of a cell is passed on to daughter cells in the form of a certain epigenetic code. After the recent discovery that new experiences which lead to lasting modifications in behaviour produce alterations in the balance of the epigenetic modifications (increased acetylation and PARylation of histones and reduction in the methylation of certain promoters), it is now believed that the storage of information in the nervous system could result in part in the more or less permanent alteration of the epigenetic code of the neurones. These epigenetic changes would alter the pattern of gene expression because of lasting modifications in the chromatin structure. Pain, especially chronic pain, is a symptom which is present in a multitude of pathologies and treatment of it is not effective in the majority of patients. The cellular and molecular sources of chronic pain are not well established, which has led us to wonder whether the very few changes in the gene expression described in the development of chronic pain might be related to alterations in the epigenome of neural cells. Hence the overall objective of this project will be to examine in greater depth the possible role of epigenetic factors in the modulation of nociception and their possible therapeutic use (functional epigenomics of pain).

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