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Class at Faculty of Science |


- an advanced course for M.Sc. and PhD students (the course is in English)

- signing up for the course is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED only after completing bachelor studies, ideally in the second year of the masters program.

- contacts: mail:, phone: 241063147



Overview of the course, basic concepts of epigenetic marks, diversity of epigenetic mechanisms and effects

*Histone modification I

Concept of chromatin structure. Heterochromatin and euchromatin. Core histones, linker histones, replacement histones, protamines. Methods for studying chromatin.

*Histone modification II

Histone modifications, polycomb proteins, acetylation, fosforylation and histone methylations, effects on gene expression.

*DNA methylation I

Molecular basis of DNA methylation. CpG and non-CpG methylation. Adenosin methylation. Metods for studying DNA methylation. Bisulfite sequencing.

*DNA methylation II

Effects of DNA methylation on gene expression, Methyl-binding proteins and mechanisms of inhibition of gene expression, distribution of DNA methylation within genes and mammalian genomes.


Concept of imprinting, mammalian imprinting. Molecular mechanisms of imprinting. Role of imprinting, Battle of the sexes.


Principles and different strategies for dosage compensation. Control of X-inactivation in mammals.

*Epigenetic reprogramming in the mammalian life-cycle

Integration of epigenetic modification in the mammalian life cycle. Reprogramming of gene expression during development, artificial reprogramming - the traditional view.

*Epigenetic mechanisms found in other model systems (plants, yeasts, invertebrates ...)

Selected epigenetic mechanisms controlling genome integrity and gene expression

*RNA silencing I - molecular machines for RNA silencing

A historical introduction into RNA silencing. Post-transcriptional effects. Roles and effects of dsRNA. Proteins and complexes in RNA silencing.

*RNA silencing II - RNAi technology

Experimental and therapeutic use. Design of RNAi experiments

*RNA silencing III - roles of RNA silencing pathways miRNA pathway, chromatin connection.

*Integrated view of regulation of gene expression

Establishment and maintenance of pluripotency in ES cells and embryos

Students are expected to actively participate during the course.

The course is taught with the support of the project reg. number CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/16_015/0002362


Epigenetics is intended for students in the second year of their MS studies and for PhD. students, who wish to engage in a scientific career in the area of cell biology, molecular biology or biomedicine. The course is based on lectures in MS and PhD. programs at University of Pennsylvania. The course is in English, presented in an interactive form, and uses original data from the area of epigenetics. Emphasis is given on the synthesis of knowledge and problem solving. In its first half, the course covers three main epigenetic mechanisms (histon modifications, DNA methylation and small RNA molecules). In the second half, these mechanisms are integrated in the presentation of important biological processes and models, such as imprinting, dosage compensation (including X-inactivation), epigenetic reprogramming in the life cycle of mammals and stem cell biology. Methods used to study epigenetics, such as chromatin immunoprecipitation, bisulphite sequencing and RNAi are explained in detail.

Regarding COVID-19

The course is planned to be taught in person (B8 V5 9-10:30). In case of restrictions, there would be live streaming through Zoom during the same time slot as a regular lecture (Wednesday 9-10:30 AM), so students could ask questions during the lecture. Recorded lectures will be available from a file repository. There will be online consulting. All information will be shared with registered students via e-mail, so it is essential that every registered student would have a functional and regularly checked e-mail address in SIS.