Epigenetics-based therapeutics for myocardial fibrosis

Life Sci. 2021 Apr 15;271:119186. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119186. Epub 2021 Feb 9.


Myocardial fibrosis (MF) is a reactive remodeling process in response to myocardial injury. It is mainly manifested by the proliferation of cardiac muscle fibroblasts and secreting extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins to replace damaged tissue. However, the excessive production and deposition of extracellular matrix, and the rising proportion of type I and type III collagen lead to pathological fibrotic remodeling, thereby facilitating the development of cardiac dysfunction and eventually causing heart failure with heightened mortality. Currently, the molecular mechanisms of MF are still not fully understood. With the development of epigenetics, it is found that epigenetics controls the transcription of pro-fibrotic genes in MF by DNA methylation, histone modification and noncoding RNAs. In this review, we summarize and discuss the research progress of the mechanisms underlying MF from the perspective of epigenetics, including the newest m6A modification and crosstalk between different epigenetics in MF. We also offer a succinct overview of promising molecules targeting epigenetic regulators, which may provide novel therapeutic strategies against MF.

Keywords: DNA methylation; Histone modification; M6A modification; Molecules targeting epigenetics; Myocardial fibrosis; Noncoding RNAs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiomyopathies / genetics*
  • Cardiomyopathies / pathology*
  • Cardiomyopathies / therapy
  • DNA Methylation / genetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics*
  • Fibrosis / genetics
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Fibrosis / therapy
  • Humans
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Ventricular Remodeling / genetics*