Heart Failure Reviews

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 789–799 | Cite as

Epigenetic signatures in cardiac fibrosis, special emphasis on DNA methylation and histone modification

  • Hui Tao
  • Zheng-Yu Song
  • Xuan-Sheng Ding
  • Jing-Jing Yang
  • Kai-Hu Shi
  • Jun Li


Cardiac fibrosis is defined as excess deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM), resulting in tissue scarring and organ dysfunction. In recent years, despite the underlying mechanisms of cardiac fibrosis are still unknown, numerous studies suggest that epigenetic regulation of cardiac fibrosis. Cardiac fibrosis is regulated by a myriad of factors that converge on the transcription of genes encoding extracellular matrix protein, a process the epigenetic machinery plays a pivotal role. Epigenetic modifications contain three main processes: DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNAs. Here, we review recent studies that have illustrated key roles for epigenetic events in the control of pro-fibrotic gene expression, and highlight the potential of molecule mechanisms that target epigenetic regulators as a means of treating cardiac fibrosis.


Cardiac fibrosis Epigenetic DNA methylation Noncoding RNA Histone modification 





Long noncoding RNA


Noncoding RNAs


α-smooth muscle actin


Extracellular matrix


RNA interference


DNA methyltransferases


Histone acetyl transferase


Histone deacetylase


Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy


cAMP analog N(6),2’-O-dibutyryladenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate


Methyl CpG binding protein 2


CpG island


RAS protein activator like-1


RAS GTPase activating protein


Myocardial infarction


Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system


Maladjustment of matrix metalloproteinases


Epithelial mesenchymal transition


Transforming growth factor beta


Dual-specificity phosphatase 5


Spontaneously hypertensive rat


Endothelial mesenchymal transition


Ras association domain family 1 isoform A


Ten eleven translocation


Trichostatin A


Valproic acid


Mineralocorticoid receptor


Myocardin-related transcription factor A

Ang II

Angiotensin II


Enhancer of zeste homolog 1


Transcription factor II D



This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81700212, 81570295) and Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Provincial Education Department (KJ2017A168).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Basic Medical Sciences and Clinical PharmacyChina Pharmaceutical UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western MedicineNanjing University of Chinese MedicineNanjingChina
  3. 3.Department of PharmacologyThe Second Hospital of Anhui Medical UniversityHefeiChina
  4. 4.School of pharmacyAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiChina

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