Asthma is a common disease worldwide. However, its pathogenesis has not been elucidated. Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic modifications may play a role in the development and natural history of asthma. This review aims to highlight recent progress in research on epigenetic mechanisms in asthma.
Over the past years, epigenetic studies, in particular, DNA methylation studies, have added to the growing body of evidence supporting a link between epigenetic regulation of gene expression and asthma. Recent studies demonstrate that epigenetic mechanisms also play a role in asthma remission. Although most existing studies in this field have been conducted on blood cells, recent evidence suggests that epigenetic signatures are also crucial for regulating airway epithelial cells. Studies conducted on nasal epithelium revealed highly replicable epigenetic patterns that researchers could use for diagnostic purposes.
Further research is needed to explore the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of epigenetic modifications in asthma. Multi-Omics studies on asthma will become increasingly crucial for a better understanding of the etiology, heterogeneity, and severity of asthma and establish molecular biomarkers that researchers could combine with clinical information to improve the management of asthma patients.