The Promise of Epigenetics in Personalized Medicine

  1. Wendell W. Weber
  1. Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5632


Numerous preclinical and clinical trials, with older as well as some newer drugs, have demonstrated the targeting of aberrant epigenetic marks to be a viable means of preventing and treating certain human disorders, including myelodysplastic and leukemic syndromes and various hemoglobinopathies. These findings are encouraging, and although the risks associated with such therapy are largely unknown, precise maps of epigenetic marks are becoming increasingly available through advancements in sequencing protocols that combine chromatin immunoprecipitation and gene expression analyses. Indeed, progress in understanding gene regulation at promoter regions and chromatin organization in health and disease has been substantial. New insights into the proteins that are targeted by therapeutic agents that alter epigenetic programs may provide important inroads into personalized medicine.

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