Epigenetic Mechanisms in Asthma

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Abstract

Asthma and allergic diseases are among the most prevalent chronic noncommunicable diseases of childhood, but the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms are poorly understood. Because epigenetic mechanisms link gene regulation to environmental cues and developmental trajectories, their contribution to asthma and allergy pathogenesis is under active investigation. DNA methylation signatures associated with concurrent disease and with the development of asthma during childhood asthma have been identified, but their significance is not easily interpretable. On the other hand, the characterization of early epigenetic predictors of asthma points to a potential role of epigenetic mechanisms in regulating the inception of, and the susceptibility to, this disease.

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