About this Research Topic
Epigenetics implies inheritable changes in gene expression that are not encoded within the DNA sequence, acting as a footprint for the lifelong environmental insults. Epigenetic mechanisms, which include DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs, can regulate gene expression and affect the susceptibility, progression and treatment response of oral diseases. Among them, most research has been directed towards frequent oral non-communicable diseases having an inflammatory-immune background, such as periodontal diseases, dental caries and periapical periodontitis, which are known to be triggered in response to the challenge of diverse microbial communities inhabiting oral niches. But evidence has also emerged in non-communicable oral diseases that are not directly associated to the oral microbiota, such as oral cancer. All of them have a profound impact in public health given their high prevalence, morbidity and or mortality worldwide. In addition, epidemiologic evidence sustains associations between oral and systemic non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes; whereby epigenetic mechanisms might also underlie the oral and systemic crosstalk. Current evidence sustains a role for epigenetics in oral non-communicable disease mechanisms and consequently on its possible clinical implications. Translational research implies new insights into epigenetic biomarkers to aid in the early diagnosis and prognosis, as well as the prospects of intervention through epigenetic-targeted therapies.
The scope of this research topics proposal involves original research and revision articles in recent discoveries involving:
- Epigenetic alterations or possible epigenetic mechanisms that can contribute to non-communicable oral diseases affecting of oral soft tissues and jaw bones
- Their epigenetic mechanisms underlying the cross-talks linking them with systemic non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes; and
- Translational research in epigenetics, such as diagnostic biomarkers and potential interventions.
Keywords: DNA methylation, histone acetylation, non-coding RNAs, oral diseases, epigenetics
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