The emerging role of epigenetics in human autoimmune disorders

Roberta Mazzone, Clemens Zwergel, Marco Artico, Samanta Taurone, Massimo Ralli, Antonio Greco, Antonello Mai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Epigenetic pathways play a pivotal role in the development and function of the immune system. Over the last decade, a growing body of studies has been published out seeking to explain a correlation between epigenetic modifications and the development of autoimmune disorders. Epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNAs, are involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases mainly by regulating gene expression. This paper reviews the importance of epigenetic alterations during the development of the most prevalent human autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic sclerosis (SSc), Sjogren's syndrome (SS), autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD), and type 1 diabetes (T1D), aiming to provide new insights in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and the possibility to develop novel therapeutic approaches targeting the epigenome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
JournalClinical Epigenetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 26 2019


  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Epigenetic pathways
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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