Epigenome-wide DNA methylation regulates cardinal pathological features of psoriasis

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Clinical Epigenetics


Background: Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune skin disorder. Several studies suggested psoriasis to be a complex multifactorial disease, but the exact triggering factor is yet to be determined. Evidences suggest that in addition to genetic factors, epigenetic reprogramming is also involved in psoriasis development. Major histopathological features, like increased proliferation and abnormal differentiation of keratinocytes, and immune cell infiltrations are characteristic marks of psoriatic skin lesions. Following therapy, histopathological features as well as aberrant DNA methylation reversed to normal levels. To understand the role of DNA methylation in regulating these crucial histopathologic features, we investigated the genome-wide DNA methylation profile of psoriasis patients with different histopathological features. Results: Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of psoriatic and adjacent normal skin tissues identified several novel differentially methylated regions associated with psoriasis. Differentially methylated CpGs were significantly enriched in several psoriasis susceptibility (PSORS) regions and epigenetically regulated the expression of key pathogenic genes, even with low-CpG promoters. Top differentially methylated genes overlapped with PSORS regions including S100A9, SELENBP1, CARD14, KAZN and PTPN22 showed inverse correlation between methylation and gene expression. We identified differentially methylated genes associated with characteristic histopathological features in psoriasis. Psoriatic skin with Munro's microabscess, a distinctive feature in psoriasis including parakeratosis and neutrophil accumulation at the stratum corneum, was enriched with differentially methylated genes involved in neutrophil chemotaxis. Rete peg elongation and focal hypergranulosis were also associated with epigenetically regulated genes, supporting the reversible nature of these characteristic features during remission and relapse of the lesions. Conclusion: Our study, for the first time, indicated the possible involvement of DNA methylation in regulating the cardinal pathophysiological features in psoriasis. Common genes involved in regulation of these pathologies may be used to develop drugs for better clinical management of psoriasis.



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All Open Access, Gold, Green

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