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Frontiers of Medicine doi: 10.1007/s11684-022-0980-8

The critical importance of epigenetics in autoimmune-related skin diseases

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Autoimmune-related skin diseases are a group of disorders with diverse etiology and pathophysiology involved in autoimmunity. Genetics and environmental factors may contribute to the development of these autoimmune disorders. Although the etiology and pathogenesis of these disorders are poorly understood, environmental variables that induce aberrant epigenetic regulations may provide some insights. Epigenetics is the study of heritable mechanisms that regulate gene expression without changing DNA sequences. The most important epigenetic mechanisms are DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNAs. In this review, we discuss the most recent findings regarding the function of epigenetic mechanisms in autoimmune-related skin disorders, including systemic lupus erythematosus, bullous skin diseases, psoriasis, and systemic sclerosis. These findings will expand our understanding and highlight the possible clinical applications of precision epigenetics approaches.

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