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Centre for Trophoblast Research



Poor nutrition can affect how genes are regulated as a result of alterations to the epigenome. Folate is a vitamin that is essential for one-carbon metabolism. Using a mouse model, in which the Mtrr gene is mutated resulting in abnormal folate metabolism, the Watson lab showed a transgenerational effect on development (Padmanabhan et al, 2013). Remarkably, Mtrr deficiency in mice causes: i) an abnormal maternal environment in their wildtype daughters (F1 generation) leading to growth defects in their wildtype grandprogeny (F2 generation); and ii) congenital malformations in their wildtype grandprogeny (F2 generation) due to inheritance of an epigenetic factor via the germline (Padmanabhan et al, 2013). The goal of my project is to understand the mechanism behind transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in the Mtrrgt model by performing IVF and embryo transfer experiments followed by transcriptome and DNA methylation analyses. These experiments will help to determine the importance of folate metabolism during epigenetic and developmental programming.

Funding: Major Research Studentship, Newnham College; Lister Institute of Preventative Medicine

Graduate student
 Katerina  Menelaou
Not available for consultancy