A Review of the Epigenetic Contributions to Endometriosis

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Epigenetic influences have been postulated to affect the course of endometriosis. DNA methyltransferases, estrogen and progesterone receptors, micro-RNAs, and histone deacetylators, have shown differential expression in endometriosis compared with normal endometrium. Others such as aromatase, Steroid Factor-1, COX-2, and Homeobox A10 also have epigenetic modifications in endometriosis. Limitations in this area of research include heterogeneity in study design, patient populations, and methods of analysis. Larger, controlled studies are needed. Future targeted uses of this work may include using methylomes to noninvasively diagnose endometriosis, or targeting histone-deacetylase inhibitors for treatment.

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