Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a complex and multifactorial disease involving genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. Numerous stimuli and pathological conditions facilitate severe vascular remodeling in PH by activation of a complex cascade of signaling pathways involving vascular cell proliferation, differentiation, and inflammation. Multiple signaling cascades modulate the activity of certain sequence-specific DNA-binding transcription factors (TFs) and coregulators that are critical for the transcriptional regulation of gene expression that facilitates PH-associated vascular cell phenotypes, as demonstrated by several studies summarized in this review. Past studies have largely focused on the role of the genetic component in the development of PH, while the presence of epigenetic alterations such as microRNAs, DNA methylation, histone levels, and histone deacetylases in PH is now also receiving increasing attention. Epigenetic regulation of chromatin structure is also recognized to influence gene expression in development or disease states. Therefore, a complete understanding of the mechanisms involved in altered gene expression in diseased cells is vital for the design of novel therapeutic strategies. Recent technological advances in DNA sequencing will provide a comprehensive improvement in our understanding of mechanisms involved in the development of PH. This review summarizes current concepts in TF and epigenetic control of cell phenotype in pulmonary vascular disease and discusses the current issues and possibilities in employing potential epigenetic or TF-based therapies for achieving complete reversal of PH.
- Epigenetics/transcription factor–based therapies
- Histone deacetylases
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension
- Transcription factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine