Epigenetics, DNA Methylation, and Chromatin Modifying Drugs

Moshe Szyf
2009 Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology  
Evidence is emerging that several diseases and behavioral pathologies result from defects in gene function. The best-studied example is cancer, but other diseases such as autoimmune disease, asthma, type 2 diabetes, metabolic disorders, and autism display aberrant gene expression. Gene function may be altered by either a change in the sequence of the DNA or a change in epigenetic programming of a gene in the absence of a sequence change. With epigenetic drugs, it is possible to reverse aberrant
more » ... to reverse aberrant gene expression profiles associated with different disease states. Several epigenetic drugs targeting DNA methylation and histone deacetylation enzymes have been tested in clinical trials. Understanding the epigenetic machinery and the differential roles of its components in specific disease states is essential for developing targeted epigenetic therapy. 243 Annu. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 2009.49:243-263. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org by MCGILL UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES on 03/13/09. For personal use only.
doi:10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-061008-103102 pmid:18851683 fatcat:stepfhks2zdehdlaj63vsi27wm