South African Dental Journal
versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versão impressa ISSN 0011-8516
SRINIVASAN, PC. The emerging role of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of periodontitis - A review. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2016, vol.71, n.1, pp.26-33. ISSN 0375-1562.
Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the supporting structures of the teeth. It is a complex disease with multifactorial etiology. Numerous studies have examined the role of the genetic factors in the etiology of periodontitis. Epigenetics is the study of the mitotically and meiotically heritable changes in the gene function that cannot be explained by changes in the DNA sequence. Studies have demonstrated that epigenetic alterations contribute to a number of diseases like cancer, metabolic and autoimmune disorders. An understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms helps to develop novel therapeutic aids which target the specific epigenetic sites. This article attempts to shed light on the role of epigenetic alterations in the pathogenesis of periodontitis. The role of the bacteria-induced epigenetic alterations in the host cell, the alterations in the cytokine profile and the role of the environmental factors like smoking on the epigenome are reviewed. Technological advances have enabled us to analyse and quantify the epigenetic changes on a large scale. Drugs which specifically target the epigenetic mechanisms may be used as valuable adjuncts to conventional periodontal therapy leading the way to personalized and preventive regimes.
Palavras-chave : Periodontitis; inflammation; epigenetic mechanisms; pathogenesis; epigenome; DNA methyltrans-ferase.