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Clin Exp Med. 2006 Oct;6(3):99-106.

DNA methylation: its contribution to systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Juntendo University Urayasu Hospital, 2-1-1 Tomioka, Urayasu-shi, Chiba, 279-0021, Japan.


Recent studies on epigenetics, including the methylation of DNA and the enzymes regulating methylation, seem likely to contribute to understanding the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In fact, the relationship between DNA methylation and SLE has long been the subject of investigation. To obtain a deeper understanding of the role of DNA methylation in the onset of SLE, we reviewed the findings reported in the literature and our own data about DNA methylation and SLE. Various studies have indicated the possible importance of DNA methylation, especially hypomethylation, in the aetiology of SLE. Epigenetic studies may provide clues for elucidating the pathogenesis of SLE and for developing new strategies to treat this disease.

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