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Last Posted: Mar 20, 2023
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Interplay Between the Exposome and the Genome in Health and Disease
E Drzymalla et al, CDC Blog Post. February 16, 2023 Brand

Neither the exposome or the genome contributes to disease risk or pathology in isolation. The interaction between these two fields provides more information on risk for disease development for individuals and populations. As a result, understanding the exposome, the genome, and the interplay between them is an important step for understanding disease development and improving disease prevention.

Molecular mechanisms of environmental exposures and human disease
H Wu et al, Nature Rev Genetics, January 30, 2023

We review evidence showing the environmental impact on gene expression through epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs. We also highlight recent studies that evaluate recently discovered molecular processes through which the environment can exert its effects, including extracellular vesicles, the epitranscriptome and the mitochondrial genome. Finally, we discuss current challenges when studying the exposome — the cumulative measure of environmental influences over the lifespan — and its integration into future environmental health research.

Multi-omics signatures of the human early life exposome
L Maitre et al, Nature Comm, November 21, 2022

In the Human Early Life Exposome (HELIX) project, a multi-centre cohort of 1301 mother-child pairs, we associate individual exposomes consisting of >100 chemical, outdoor, social and lifestyle exposures assessed in pregnancy and childhood, with multi-omics profiles (methylome, transcriptome, proteins and metabolites) in childhood. We identify 1170 associations, 249 in pregnancy and 921 in childhood, which reveal potential biological responses and sources of exposure. Pregnancy exposures, including maternal smoking, cadmium and molybdenum, are predominantly associated with child DNA methylation changes.

From the Genome to the Exposome: Mapping Causal Associations Between Environmental Factors and Population Health
D Rasooly et al, CDC Blog Post, September 6, 2022 Brand

Complementary to the “genome,” which is the complete set of an individual’s genetic information, the “exposome” represents an individual’s complete set of environmental exposures throughout their lifetime. Coined in 2005, the “exposome” captures the variable and dynamic environmental exposures from the prenatal period onwards. Factors studied in the exposome extend from social differences and inequalities to behavioral factors such as tobacco smoking and physical activity. Our genome and exposome interact throughout our lives in causing various diseases.

Disclaimer: Articles listed in the Public Health Genomics and Precision Health Knowledge Base are selected by the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics to provide current awareness of the literature and news. Inclusion in the update does not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor does it imply endorsement of the article's methods or findings. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinion, findings and conclusions expressed by the original authors of items included in the update, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS.