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Genetics & Epigenetics

Use of Epigenetic Drugs in Disease: An Overview

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Genetics & Epigenetics 2014:6 9-19

Review

Published on 27 May 2014

DOI: 10.4137/GEG.S12270


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Abstract

Epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation and histone methylation and acetylation alter gene expression at the level of transcription by upregulat-ing, downregulating, or silencing genes completely. Dysregulation of epigenetic events can be pathological, leading to cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, metabolic disorders, and cancer development. Therefore, identifying drugs that inhibit these epigenetic changes are of great clinical interest. In this review, we summarize the epigenetic events associated with different disorders and diseases including cardiovascular, neurological, and metabolic disorders, and cancer. Knowledge of the specific epigenetic changes associated with these types of diseases facilitates the development of specific inhibitors, which can be used as epigenetic drugs. In this review, we discuss the major classes of epigenetic drugs currently in use, such as DNA methylation inhibiting drugs, bromodomain inhibitors, histone acetyl transferase inhibitors, histone deacetylase inhibitors, protein methyltransferase inhibitors, and histone methylation inhibitors and their role in reversing epigenetic changes and treating disease.



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