Chronic Kidney disease may be explained by epigenetic changes.

” Epigenetics is defined by the changes to expression caused through outside influences such as the environment or ingested, and not directly through changes in the DNA sequence. A new study published in the Biology journal found that a pattern of chemical modification on DNA methylation affects expression in kidney cells from patients with chronic kidney disease versus healthy controls. Approximately 10 % of people or more than 20 million, aged 20 years or older in the united States have chronic kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Chronic kidney disease is considered to be a serious disease and is defined as a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot adequately filter blood. The of the chronic condition is that it causes waste to build up, which leads to other health problems, including cardiovascular disease, , and bone disease.

Kidney cells have been associated with having a past metabolic effect, i.e. they remember the conditions that a specific disease such as diabetes imposes on them. “This is called the metabolic memory effect,” says Susztak, a lead study author. “Kidney cells remember the past bad metabolic environment.”

“Most of the research on kidney epigenetics so far has been on promoter regions on cells,” says Susztak. “The difference we found in dysregulation between the two cell populations may indicate that dysregulation in cancer is different from dysregulation in chronic kidney disease. Five years ago there was no epigenetic information outside of cancer,” says Susztak.

The study results and the influence of epigentics on a chronic disease raises the possibility of identifying new and treatment methods associated with the condition.


Yi-An Ko, Davoud Mohtat, Masako Suzuki, Ae Park, Maria Izquierdo, Sang Han, Hyun Kang, Han Si, Thomas Hostetter, James M Pullman, Melissa Fazzari, Amit Verma, Deyou Zheng, John M Greally, Katalin Susztak. Cytosine methylation changes in enhancer regions of core pro-fibrotic characterize kidney fibrosis development. Biology, 2013; 14 (10): R108 DOI: 10.1186/gb-2013-14-10-r108

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