An update on the epigenetics of asthma

Olena Gruzieva, Simon Kebede Merid, Gerard H Koppelman, Erik Melén*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Asthma is a common disease worldwide, however, its pathogenesis has not been fully elucidated. Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic modifications may play a role in the development and natural history of asthma. The aim of this review is to highlight recent progress in research on epigenetic mechanisms in asthma.

RECENT FINDINGS: Over the past years, epigenetic studies, in particular DNA methylation studies, have added to the growing body of evidence supporting a link between epigenetic regulation of gene expression and asthma. Recent studies demonstrate that epigenetic mechanisms also play a role in asthma remission. Although most existing studies in this field have been conducted on blood cells, recent evidence suggests that epigenetic signatures are also crucial for the regulation of airway epithelial cells. Studies conducted on nasal epithelium revealed highly replicable epigenetic patterns that could be used for diagnostic purposes.

SUMMARY: Further research is needed to explore the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of epigenetic modifications in asthma. Multiomics studies on asthma will become increasingly important for a better understanding of etiology, heterogeneity, and severity of asthma, as well as establishing molecular biomarkers that could be combined with clinical information to improve the management of asthma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in allergy and clinical immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1-Apr-2021


  • asthma
  • DNA methylation
  • epigenetics
  • histone modifications
  • microRNA

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