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Physical Activity and DNA Methylation in Humans

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 60-781 Poznan, Poland
Department of Genetics, Wroclaw Medical University, 50-368 Wroclaw, Poland
Institute of Human Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, 60-479 Poznan, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Agustin F. Fernandez
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(23), 12989;
Received: 31 October 2021 / Revised: 27 November 2021 / Accepted: 29 November 2021 / Published: 30 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetic Mechanisms and Human Pathology 2.0)
Physical activity is a strong stimulus influencing the overall physiology of the human body. Exercises lead to biochemical changes in various tissues and exert an impact on gene expression. Exercise-induced changes in gene expression may be mediated by epigenetic modifications, which rearrange the chromatin structure and therefore modulate its accessibility for transcription factors. One of such epigenetic mark is DNA methylation that involves an attachment of a methyl group to the fifth carbon of cytosine residue present in CG dinucleotides (CpG). DNA methylation is catalyzed by a family of DNA methyltransferases. This reversible DNA modification results in the recruitment of proteins containing methyl binding domain and further transcriptional co-repressors leading to the silencing of gene expression. The accumulation of CpG dinucleotides, referred as CpG islands, occurs at the promoter regions in a great majority of human genes. Therefore, changes in DNA methylation profile affect the transcription of multiple genes. A growing body of evidence indicates that exercise training modulates DNA methylation in muscles and adipose tissue. Some of these epigenetic markers were associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the influence of physical activity on the DNA methylation status in humans. View Full-Text
Keywords: DNA methylation; epigenetics; exercise; physical activity DNA methylation; epigenetics; exercise; physical activity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Światowy, W.J.; Drzewiecka, H.; Kliber, M.; Sąsiadek, M.; Karpiński, P.; Pławski, A.; Jagodziński, P.P. Physical Activity and DNA Methylation in Humans. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 12989.

AMA Style

Światowy WJ, Drzewiecka H, Kliber M, Sąsiadek M, Karpiński P, Pławski A, Jagodziński PP. Physical Activity and DNA Methylation in Humans. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(23):12989.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Światowy, Witold J., Hanna Drzewiecka, Michalina Kliber, Maria Sąsiadek, Paweł Karpiński, Andrzej Pławski, and Paweł P. Jagodziński. 2021. "Physical Activity and DNA Methylation in Humans" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 23: 12989.

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