Epigenetics in Eye Development and Ocular Disorders: A Brief Review

Curr Mol Med. 2023;23(9):843-848. doi: 10.2174/1566524023666221003102857.


Epigenetics is a powerful regulator of gene expression. With advanced discoveries in underlying molecular mechanisms that can alter chromatin response to internal and external signals, epigenetic alterations have been implicated in various developmental pathways and human disorders. The extent to which this epigenetic effect contributes to eye development and progression of ocular disorders is currently less defined. However, emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic changes are relevant in the development of eye and ocular disorders like pterygium, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and more. This brief review will discuss the relevance of epigenetic mechanisms like DNA methylation, histone modifications, polycomb proteins and noncoding RNAs in the context of eye development and selected ocular disorders.

Keywords: Ocular disorders; chromatin; epigenetics; eye development; histones; methylation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Eye Diseases* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration* / genetics


  • Chromatin