Epigenetics and Behavior - Version 1

Submitted by Juli Uhl on

In rats, maternal behavior has a lifelong effect on stress responses of their offspring by altering expression of the GR gene. The GR gene is expressed at lower levels in rats who were cared for by attentive mothers. This is an epigenetic effect, that is, the sequence of DNA bases is not changed while gene expression is changed.

A. Describe an epigenetic change that would cause GR gene expression to decrease.

B. Explain why there is a decrease in gene expression in response to this epigenetic change.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (DUE grants: 1438739, 1323162, 1347740, 0736952 and 1022653). Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.