DNA methylation and inflammatory skin diseases

  • Joshua S. Mervis
  • Jean S. McGeeEmail author


Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that do not originate from alternations in the DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications include DNA methylation, histone modification, and gene silencing via the action of microRNAs. Epigenetic dysregulation has been implicated in many disease processes. In the field of dermatology, epigenetic regulation has been extensively explored as a pathologic mechanism in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), which has led to the successful development of epigenetic therapies for CTCL. In recent years, the potential role of epigenetic regulation in the pathogeneses of inflammatory skin diseases has gained greater appreciation. In particular, epigenetic changes in psoriasis and atopic dermatitis have been increasingly studied, with DNA methylation the most rigorously investigated to date. In this review, we provide an overview of DNA methylation in inflammatory skin diseases with an emphasis on psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.


Epigenetics DNA methylation Inflammatory Skin diseases Psoriasis Atopic dermatitis 



The authors received no funding for this work.

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Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Informed consent not required for this work.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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