What is the role of genomic imprinting and epigenetics in the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
  • Print

Some investigators suggest that the future of treatment and understanding of RA may be based on imprinting and epigenetics. RA is significantly more prevalent in women than in men, [15, 16] which suggests that genomic imprinting from parents participates in its expression. [17, 18] Imprinting is characterized by differential methylation of chromosomes by the parent of origin, resulting in differential expression of maternal over paternal genes. [19]

Epigenetics is the change in DNA expression that is due to environmentally induced methylation and not to a change in DNA structure. Clearly, the research focus will be on environmental factors in combination with immune genetics.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!