Epigenetics, Epigenomics and Epidrugs. The New Age Miracles.

Freedom Preetham
Meta Multiomics
Published in
4 min readFeb 27


Epigenetic diseases are conditions that result from alterations in the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene expression without changing the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes can be caused by environmental factors, such as diet and exposure to toxins, as well as by genetic factors.


What is Epigenetics?

Epigenetics refers to the study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype that occur without alterations in the DNA sequence itself. Epigenetic changes can be passed down through cell division and sometimes even across generations, although the exact mechanisms of how this occurs are not fully understood.

There are several epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene expression, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNA molecules. These mechanisms can alter how genes are expressed or silenced, without changing the underlying DNA sequence.

For example, DNA methylation is a process in which a methyl group is added to a cytosine base in DNA, typically in a region called the CpG island. This modification can affect how the gene is expressed by altering the accessibility of the DNA to transcription factors.

Some examples of epigenetic diseases include:

  1. Cancer: Epigenetic changes can contribute to the development and progression of many types of cancer. For example, aberrant DNA methylation can silence tumor suppressor genes and activate oncogenes.
  2. Neurological disorders: Epigenetic changes have been implicated in various neurological and psychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia, and depression.
  3. Cardiovascular disease: Epigenetic changes can affect the expression of genes involved in the development of cardiovascular disease, such as those involved in lipid metabolism and inflammation.
  4. Developmental disorders: Epigenetic changes can disrupt normal development, leading to birth defects and developmental disorders such as Prader-Willi syndrome and Angelman syndrome.
  5. Autoimmune disorders: Epigenetic changes can alter immune system function, contributing to the development of autoimmune disorders such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  6. Metabolic disorders: Epigenetic changes can affect the expression of genes involved in glucose metabolism, leading to conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

It is important to note that the relationship between epigenetics and disease is complex and still being studied. Many factors can contribute to the development of these conditions, and epigenetic changes may interact with genetic and environmental factors in complex ways.

What is Epigenomics?

Epigenomics is a field of study that aims to map and analyze the complete set of epigenetic modifications in the genome of an individual or a cell type. This includes identifying patterns of DNA methylation, histone modifications, and the distribution of various types of non-coding RNAs across the genome.

Epigenomics seeks to understand the complex interplay between the genome and the environment, as well as the role of epigenetic modifications in gene regulation and disease development.

By characterizing the epigenetic landscape of cells and tissues, researchers can identify key regulatory elements and pathways that control gene expression, as well as the specific mechanisms that contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, and neurological disorders.

Epigenomics also has important implications for personalized medicine. By profiling the epigenetic modifications of an individual’s genome, researchers can identify disease risk factors and tailor treatments based on the unique epigenetic signature of each patient. Epigenomic studies are conducted using a variety of high-throughput technologies, including DNA sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and microarrays, as well as bioinformatic and computational methods for data analysis and interpretation.

Epi-Drugs: The New Age Focus

“Epidrugs” refer to a class of drugs that target epigenetic modifications, which are changes in gene expression that do not alter the underlying DNA sequence.

Epidrugs work by modifying the activity of enzymes that add or remove epigenetic marks on DNA or histones, which can alter the expression of specific genes.

By targeting these enzymes, epidrugs can potentially reverse or mitigate epigenetic changes that contribute to disease. For example, some epidrugs have shown promise in treating certain cancers by targeting genes that are aberrantly expressed due to epigenetic changes.

Some examples of epidrugs include DNA methyltransferase inhibitors (DNMTIs) and histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs).

Advantages of Epidrugs

Epidrugs offer several potential advantages as a class of therapeutics:

  1. Precision: Epidrugs can target specific genes or pathways that are dysregulated in a disease state, potentially leading to more targeted and effective treatments.
  2. Reversibility: Unlike genetic mutations, epigenetic modifications are potentially reversible, and epidrugs can be used to restore normal epigenetic patterns and gene expression.
  3. Broad applicability: Epigenetic changes have been implicated in a wide range of diseases, including cancer, neurological disorders, and immune disorders. This suggests that epidrugs may have broad applicability across many different disease areas.
  4. Synergy with other therapies: Epidrugs may be used in combination with other therapies, such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy, to enhance their efficacy.

It is worth noting that epidrugs are still in the early stages of development, and much more research is needed to fully understand their potential benefits and limitations. Additionally, like any new class of drugs, epidrugs may have side effects and risks that need to be carefully evaluated in clinical trials.