Opinion Article, Adv Biomed Res Vol: 6 Issue: 1
Importance of Epigenetic Therapy in Treatment of Various Diseases
Department of Medicine, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Received date: 21 February, 2023, Manuscript No. ABRI-23-95910;
Editor assigned date: 27 February, 2023, Pre QC No. ABRI-23-95910(PQ);
Reviewed date: 15 March, 2023, QC No. ABRI-23-95910;
Revised date: 22 March, 2023, Manuscript No: ABRI-23-95910(R);
Published date: 30 March, 2023, DOI: 10.4172/ABRI.1000127.
Citation: Laven R (2023) Importance of Epigenetic Therapy in Treatment of Various Diseases. Adv Biomed Res Innov 6:1.
Keywords: Epigenetic Therapy
Epigenetics refers to the study of heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications can include DNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNA molecules. These modifications can affect gene expression and contribute to the development of many diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and autoimmune disorders. It is a promising approach for treating these diseases by using chemical compounds to alter gene expression. The main goal of epigenetic therapy is to correct abnormal epigenetic modifications that contribute to the development and progression of disease. For example, in cancer cells, certain genes may be silenced due to hypermethylation of the DNA promoter region. It aims to reactivate these silenced genes by targeting the DNA methyltransferases responsible for the hypermethylation. Similarly, in neurodegenerative diseases, aberrant histone modifications may lead to the formation of toxic protein aggregates in the brain. It can target histone modifications to prevent or slow down the progression of the disease.
One of the main advantages of epigenetic therapy is its specificity. Unlike traditional chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which target all rapidly dividing cells, epigenetic therapy can target specific genes or pathways that are dysregulated in the disease state. This targeted approach reduces the side effects associated with non-specific treatments, which can lead to toxicity and damage to healthy cells. Additionally, epigenetic therapy has the potential to be used in combination with other therapies, such as immunotherapy, to enhance their effectiveness. One example of epigenetic therapy is the use of DNA Methyltransferase Inhibitors (DNMT inhibitors) to treat certain types of cancer. DNMT inhibitors, such as azacitidine and decitabine, are nucleoside analogues that incorporate into DNA during replication and inhibit DNA methyltransferase enzymes, leading to DNA hypomethylation. This hypomethylation can reactivate tumor suppressor genes that are silenced by hypermethylation in cancer cells, leading to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. DNMT inhibitors have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia and are being investigated for use in other types of cancer, such as lung cancer and ovarian cancer.
Another example is the use of Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors (HDAC inhibitors) to treat cancer and other diseases. HDAC inhibitors, such as vorinostat and romidepsin, inhibit the activity of histone deacetylase enzymes, leading to increased acetylation of histone proteins and altered chromatin structure. This altered chromatin structure can lead to reactivation of silenced genes, including tumor suppressor genes, and can also induce apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. HDAC inhibitors have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and are being investigated for use in other types of cancer, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.
While epigenetic therapy is a promising approach for treating many diseases, there are also challenges associated with its use. One challenge is the potential for off-target effects. Epigenetic modifications are complex and involve many different enzymes and pathways, and targeting one pathway may inadvertently affect other pathways. Additionally, epigenetic modifications can have both positive and negative effects on gene expression, and altering these modifications may have unintended consequences. Another challenge is the need for better biomarkers to predict which patients will respond to epigenetic therapy. Currently, there are no reliable biomarkers for predicting response to epigenetic therapy, and patients may undergo treatment without knowing whether they will benefit.