A series of studies aimed at developing methods and systems of analyzing epigenetic information in cells and in cell networks, as well as that of genetic information, was examined to expand our understanding of how living systems are determined. Because cells are minimum units reflecting epigenetic information, which is considered to map the history of a parallel-processing recurrent network of biochemical reactions, their behaviors cannot be explained by considering only conventional DNA information-processing events. The role of epigenetic information on cells, which complements their genetic information, was inferred by comparing predictions from genetic information with cell behaviour observed under conditions chosen to reveal adaptation processes, population effects and community effects. A system of analyzing epigenetic information was developed starting from the twin complementary viewpoints of cell regulation as an "algebraic" system (emphasis on temporal aspects) and as a "geometric" system (emphasis on spatial aspects). Exploiting the combination of latest microfabrication technology and measurement technologies, which we call on-chip cellomics assay, we can control and re-construct the environments and interaction of cells from "algebraic" and "geometric" viewpoints. In this review, temporal viewpoint of epigenetic information, a part of the series of single-cell-based "algebraic" and "geometric" studies of celluler systems in our research groups, are summerized and reported. The knowlege acquired from this study may lead to the use of cells that fully control practical applications like cell-based drug screening and the regeneration of organs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering