Research Topic

Environmental Genomics and Epigenomics: Response, Development and Disease

About this Research Topic

With the development of industrialization, environmental pollution has become one of the most serious health threats to humans and other life forms on the planet today. According to the new estimates from World Health Organisation (WHO), air, water and soil pollution, chemical exposure, climate change, and ...

With the development of industrialization, environmental pollution has become one of the most serious health threats to humans and other life forms on the planet today. According to the new estimates from World Health Organisation (WHO), air, water and soil pollution, chemical exposure, climate change, and radiation contribute to more than 100 diseases and injuries, which accounts for 1 in 4 of the total global deaths.

Epigenetic changes play a pivotal role in multiple non-communicable diseases(NCDs), including cancer and other chronic diseases. A vast amount of evidence suggests that the epigenome can be modified by external stimuli. Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies have enabled us to better understand the epigenetic responses to environmental agents. Epigenome-wide identification of changes due to environmental exposures will fill the gap between environmental risk factors and the processes of diseases. In addition, accumulated publicly available epigenome-wide publicly available datasets from different cells, tissues and animals reacting to the environmental exposures can also provide an opportunity to reveal the possible pathways and mechanisms on how environmental exposures (such as endocrine disruptors, tobacco smoke, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, diesel exhaust particles, heavy metals, other indoor and outdoor pollutants) affect health through epigenetic processes.

This research topic aims to provide new findings on “Epigenetic Regulation in Environmental Diseases". We welcome researchers to present their high-quality articles in the form of reviews and original research, focusing on the role of epigenetic changes mediating environmental exposures and health outcomes. The subjects we wish to cover will include but are not limited to the following:

1. Investigation of epigenetic programming, including DNA methylation (5mC and 5hmC), histone modification, chromatin accessibility, long noncoding RNA and miRNA profiling in vitro, animal models under a variety of environmental exposures. What are the specific substrates and target sites for epigenetic enzymes alterations in response to exposure? Could this perturbed epigenetic change serve as potential biomarkers of exposure/disease?

2. Dynamic epitranscriptome profiling (including but not limited to the N6-methyladenosine (m6A), N1-methyladenosine (m1A), 5-methylcytosine (m5C), 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (hm5C), 2′-O-methylation (Nm) and acetylation of cytidine (ac 4 C)) change to the environmental exposure. What are exposure-associated alterations and the functional consequences in readers, writers, and erasers of reversible RNA modifications?

3. Exploring the association between environmental epigenetic changes and human NCDs, including different cancers, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, thyroid diseases, liver diseases, respiratory diseases, pregnancy complications, asthma, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Study the role of epigenetics in the developmental origins of health and disease, their relationships with environmental exposures and possible epigenetic mechanisms in disease pathogenesis.

4. Study transgenerational effects from early-life environmental risk factors combined the experimental and epigenomics approaches using in vivo and in vitro models. What is the health outcomes of the offspring from the paternal preconception exposure? What are the possible epigenetic alterations come from offspring of the paternal exposure? Identification of disease-related imprinting genes to specific potential environmental exposure.

5. Reviews on the environmental epigenetics and its implication on disease risk.


Keywords: Environmental exposure, Epigenetics, Disease, Genome-wide


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

29 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

29 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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