Epigenetic modulation as a therapeutic approach for pulmonary arterial hypertension

Exp Mol Med. 2015 Jul 31;47(7):e175. doi: 10.1038/emm.2015.45.


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare but progressive and currently incurable disease, which is characterized by vascular remodeling in association with muscularization of the arterioles, medial thickening and plexiform lesion formation. Despite our advanced understanding of the pathogenesis of PAH and the recent therapeutic advances, PAH still remains a fatal disease. In addition, the susceptibility to PAH has not yet been adequately explained. Much evidence points to the involvement of epigenetic changes in the pathogenesis of a number of human diseases including cancer, peripheral hypertension and asthma. The knowledge gained from the epigenetic study of various human diseases can also be applied to PAH. Thus, the pursuit of novel therapeutic targets via understanding the epigenetic alterations involved in the pathogenesis of PAH, such as DNA methylation, histone modification and microRNA, might be an attractive therapeutic avenue for the development of a novel and more effective treatment. This review provides a general overview of the current advances in epigenetics associated with PAH, and discusses the potential for improved treatment through understanding the role of epigenetics in the development of PAH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Methylation / drug effects
  • Drug Discovery / methods
  • Epigenesis, Genetic* / drug effects
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / genetics*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / therapy
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*


  • MicroRNAs