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Terminology Clarification


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As near as I can figure, gene regulatory networks and epigenetic mechanisms both regulate when and were and to what extent genes get expressed.

 

But what is the relationship between GRNs and epigenetics? Are epigenetic mechanisms a subset of GRNs? If so, what distinguishes epigenetic mechanisms from other aspect of GRNs?

 

Or are GRNs and epigenetic mechanisms distinct cellular mechanisms that work in tandem?

 

Any clarification regarding these terms will be appreciated!

 

 

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There is no fixed definition of gene regulatory networks, but is most commonly referred to interactions based on genes, i.e. using regulatory RNA and/or proteins. Theoretically, epigenetic regulation falls under the same auspice as they, too modify gene expression by interaction with DNA. The main difference is that these changes can be inherited. Thus whether they are used side-by-side or if you use gene regulation as the more global term depends solely on context.

 

All of these elements work together resulting in distinct gene/protein expression patterns.

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