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Review
. 2014 Feb;20(2):135-40.
doi: 10.1177/1352458514520911.

The Potential Role of Epigenetic Modifications in the Heritability of Multiple Sclerosis

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Review

The Potential Role of Epigenetic Modifications in the Heritability of Multiple Sclerosis

Yuan Zhou et al. Mult Scler. .

Abstract

It is now well established that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to and interact in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the currently described causal genetic variants do not explain the majority of the heritability of MS, resulting in 'missing heritability'. Epigenetic mechanisms, which principally include DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA-mediated post-transcriptional gene silencing, may contribute a significant component of this missing heritability. As the development of MS is a dynamic process potentially starting with inflammation, then demyelination, remyelination and neurodegeneration, we have reviewed the dynamic epigenetic changes in these aspects of MS pathogenesis and describe how environmental risk factors may interact with epigenetic changes to manifest in disease.

Keywords: DNA methylation; Multiple sclerosis; epigenetics; histone modification; microRNA.

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