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Arch Hellen Med, 33(6), November-December 2016, 727-738


Osteoarthritis and epigenetics

P.K. Panagopoulos,1 G.I. Lambrou1,2
1Post-graduate Ρrogramme "Metabolic bone diseases", School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
2Choremeio Research Laboratory, First Department of Pediatrics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic disease of the joints, with possible deleterious effects on the quality of life of patients. Its etiology is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. During recent years high throughput gene expression studies have made it possible to detect the role of a range of genes in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis, but the mechanism is not yet fully understood. Documentation of epigenetic regulation in osteoarthritis is constantly increasing, and the epigenetic mechanisms identified include DNA methylation, histone modification and miRNA regulation. It has been found that genes responsible for pathogenesis are methylated, resulting in aberrant expression and or regulation. In addition, aberrant histone methylation and acetylation have been found to be linked to osteoarthritis and the use of methylase and acetylase inhibitors has been proposed as treatment. On the other hand, numerous microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to participate in gene regulation resulting in osteoarthritis. Recent research findings confirm that epigenetic regulation is a significant factor in the etiology of osteoarthritis, providing at the same time, the promise of novel diagnostic and or therapeutic methods. Further investigation is necessary to elucidate the role of epigenetics in the development of osteoarthritis and shed more light on the disease pathogenesis.

Key words: DNA methylation, Histone modification, MicroRNA, Osteoarthritis.

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