Biochem Cell Biol 2020 Dec 24;98(6):631-646. Epub 2020 Jul 24.
Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado, USA.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disease of the cardiopulmonary system caused by the narrowing of the pulmonary arteries, leading to increased vascular resistance and pressure. This leads to right ventricle remodeling, dysfunction, and eventually, death. While conventional therapies have largely focused on targeting vasodilation, other pathological features of PAH including aberrant inflammation, mitochondrial dynamics, cell proliferation, and migration have not been well explored. Thus, despite some recent improvements in PAH treatment, the life expectancy and quality of life for patients with PAH remains poor. Showing many similarities to cancers, PAH is characterized by increased pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation, decreased apoptotic signaling pathways, and changes in metabolism. The recent successes of therapies targeting epigenetic modifiers for the treatment of cancer has prompted epigenetic research in PAH, revealing many new potential therapeutic targets. In this minireview we discuss the emergence of epigenetic dysregulation in PAH and highlight epigenetic-targeting compounds that may be effective for the treatment of PAH.