Epigenetics of Atherosclerosis: Emerging Mechanisms and Methods

Trends Mol Med. 2017 Apr;23(4):332-347. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2017.02.004. Epub 2017 Mar 11.


Atherosclerosis is a vascular pathology characterized by inflammation and plaque build-up within arterial vessel walls. Vessel occlusion, often occurring after plaque rupture, can result in myocardial and cerebral infarction. Epigenetic changes are increasingly being associated with atherosclerosis and are of interest from both therapeutic and biomarker perspectives. Emerging genomic approaches that profile DNA methylation, chromatin accessibility, post-translational histone modifications, transcription factor binding, and RNA expression in low or single cell populations are poised to enhance our spatiotemporal understanding of atherogenesis. Here, we review recent therapeutically relevant epigenetic discoveries and emerging technologies that may generate new opportunities for atherosclerosis research.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; endothelial; epigenetics; inflammation; transcription.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / genetics*
  • Atherosclerosis / immunology
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Genomics
  • Histone Code
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • NF-kappa B / immunology
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / immunology


  • NF-kappa B
  • RNA, Long Noncoding

Grant support