The epigenetic biomarker γH2AX: From bench to clinical trials

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Epigenetic factors exert their function by means of three mechanisms: (1) DNA methylation, (2) noncoding RNAs, and (3) histone posttranslational modifications. In this chapter, we focus on a histone posttranslational modification, the ?-phosphorylation of the histone H2AX. H2AX is a mammalian variant that belongs to the H2A histone family. In contrast with the other members of the family, H2AX has a unique phosphorylation site on its amino-terminal tail. Posttranslational modification involves a biological amplification mechanism where one double-strand break induces the ?-phosphorylation of thousands of H2AX molecules along megabase-long domains of chromatin, which are adjusted to the sites of double-strand breaks. Ongoing translational research on the ?H2AX epigenetic biomarker is very dynamic and is expected to develop further, in order to serve monitoring for diverse pathologies and the evaluation of their therapies.




Rogakou, E. P., Papadakis, V., & Chrousos, G. P. (2016). The epigenetic biomarker γH2AX: From bench to clinical trials. In Epigenetics, the Environment, and Children’s Health Across Lifespans (pp. 93–115). Springer International Publishing.

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