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Trends Genet. 2007 Nov;23(11):588-95. Epub 2007 Oct 22.

The potential role of epigenomic dysregulation in complex human disease.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, SUNY at Stony Brook, HSC-T8, Room 053, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8088, USA.

Abstract

One of the major challenges in genetics today is to understand the causes of complex genetic diseases. The genes involved in these disorders are thought to interact with poorly-defined environmental factors to exert their phenotypic effects. An emerging view is that epigenetics also plays a role in complex diseases. Here we review the evidence that epigenetic regulatory mediators can be influenced by several environmental factors, that variability of the epigenome can cause variation in phenotypes, and that epigenetic dysregulation can be heritable across generations. Assays that map epigenetic regulatory patterns across the whole genome have recently become available, which enable us to explore the epigenomic influences on complex diseases, thus offering new avenues for diagnostic biomarker development and therapeutic strategies.

PMID:
17953999
DOI:
10.1016/j.tig.2007.08.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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