Epigenetics in Hyperphagia

  • Minati SinghEmail author
Reference work entry


The central dogma states that the genetic information, which is contained in the DNA, is transcribed and translated into proteins. We now know that a recently identified novel phenomenon, known as epigenetics, alters gene expression without altering DNA sequences. Thus, this phenomenon alters the central dogma hypothesis. Some of these epigenetic changes are reversible, while some of these changes are heritable; both have the potential to influence every aspect of biology. Furthermore, epigenetic changes happen naturally during environmental changes, during aging, and during disease states. Consequently, epigenetics impacts our daily lives. One such biological process that is impacted by epigenetics is the feeding behavior. Epigenetics supports the theory that life experience can alter your feeding behavior irrespective of one’s genetic makeup. This is because some life experience leaves physical marks on DNA, or epitranscriptome changes alter biological functions of proteins that are involved in feeding behavior. To date, at least five systems have been identified to be involved in epigenetic processes: DNA methylation, histone modification, noncoding RNA (ncRNA) regulation, RNA methylation, and RNA editing. All these processes initiate and sustain epigenetic changes independently. This chapter highlights various epigenetic changes known to regulate and alter gene expressions and how some of these epigenetic changes can directly or indirectly affect an overeating behavior known as hyperphagia, which leads to obesity.


Hyperphagia Epigenetics DNA methylation RNA methylation Histones RNA editing Epitranscriptome Noncoding RNA microRNA Obesity 

List of Abbreviations


Serotonin 2C receptor

A to I

Adenosine to inosine RNA editing


Adenosine deaminase that acts on RNA


DNA methyltransferase


Fat mass and obesity-associated gene


Hypocretin (orexin)




Melanocortin receptor




Noncoding RNA


Oxytocin receptor




Prader-Willi Syndrome


Ribosomal RNA


Small nucleolar RNA


Small nuclear RNA


Small nuclear ribonucleoprotein


Transfer RNA


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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