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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(3), 5161-5179;

Potential Epigenetic Mechanism in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Department of Gastroenterology, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200092, China
Storr Liver Centre, Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research, University of Sydney, the Westmead Clinical School, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Johannes Haybaeck
Received: 28 December 2014 / Revised: 14 February 2015 / Accepted: 25 February 2015 / Published: 5 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Molecular Mechanisms of Human Liver Diseases)
Full-Text   |   PDF [728 KB, uploaded 5 March 2015]


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by excessive fat accumulation in the liver. It ranges from simple steatosis to its more aggressive form, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which may develop into hepatic fibrosis, cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) if it persists for a long time. However, the exact pathogenesis of NAFLD and the related metabolic disorders remain unclear. Epigenetic changes are stable alterations that take place at the transcriptional level without altering the underlying DNA sequence. DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA are among the most common forms of epigenetic modification. Epigenetic alterations are involved in the regulation of hepatic lipid metabolism, insulin resistance, mitochondrial damage, oxidative stress response, and the release of inflammatory cytokines, all of which have been implicated in the development and progression of NAFLD. This review summarizes the current advances in the potential epigenetic mechanism of NAFLD. Elucidation of epigenetic factors may facilitate the identification of early diagnositic biomarkers and development of therapeutic strategies for NAFLD. View Full-Text
Keywords: epigenetics; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); DNA methylation; histone modifications; microRNA epigenetics; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); DNA methylation; histone modifications; microRNA
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sun, C.; Fan, J.-G.; Qiao, L. Potential Epigenetic Mechanism in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 5161-5179.

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