Emerging role of epigenetics in systemic sclerosis pathogenesis

Author: M. Ciechomska, J. M. van Laar and S. O'Reilly
Date Published: June-2014
Source: Nature Genes & Immunity

Systemic sclerosis is a connective tissue disease of unknown aetiology characterised by autoimmunity, inflammation, vascular abnormalities and ultimately fibrosis. Although great advances have been made in determining the molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis over the last decade, aided by new genetic screens, no current specific disease-modifying treatment is yet available. Epigenetics is defined as heritable changes that are not due to changes in DNA sequence, and there is at present intense research effort to understand the basic mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and how these impact diseases.