Other Affiliation: University of Science and Technology of China
Rau, Christoph D.
Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Genetics
Other Affiliation: Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally. Progress in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of CVD is contingent on the advancement of our knowledge to explain the complex pathophysiology underlying CVD in which gene expression re-programming plays a fundamental role. Emerging evidence highlights the impact of epigenetic regulation on the transition of gene expression patterns from physiological to pathological states. Epigenetics, originally defined as stably heritable phenotypes resulting from changes in a chromosome without alterations in the DNA sequence, is now more broadly understood to encompass any modification to DNA structure or function that influences phenotypes related to development or disease other than an actual change to the sequence. The epigenetic environment of a gene is mostly determined by DNA methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodeling. Various writers, readers, and erasers for different epigenetic marks have been discovered, and their dysfunction tightly correlates with the development of CVD. Research elucidating epigenetic regulations in this field have, in turn, promoted novel drug discoveries to treat CVD. The identification of novel epigenetic players in CVD and how they act to fine-tune molecular processes would help expand our understanding of the complexity of cardiovascular pathophysiology. In the current Research Topic, we have collected 16 high-quality studies that cover promising, recent, and novel research trends in the epigenetic regulation of CVD.