Special Issue "The Use of Epigenetic Biomarkers as Diagnostic and Therapeutic Options 2.0"
A special issue of Epigenomes (ISSN 2075-4655).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.
Interests: cancer epigenetic; molecular diagnostics; DNA methylation; microRNA; non-invasive diagnostic; tumour suppressor
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Epigenetic changes are key processes driving cellular aging, development, and carcinogenesis. Epigenetic dysregulation is a universal feature of neoplasms and is considered a hallmark of cancer. Subsequently, the study of the epigenome has attracted considerable attention for developing biomarker detection methods and therapeutic discovery for various malignancies for over a decade. Many drugs have been developed and have obtained FDA approval to be used in clinical practice. The distinctive signatures of which biomarkers can be used to identify patients who may potentially benefit from such treatment options are yet to be explored. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many researchers are discussing the link between the COVID-19 SARS virus and epigenetic alterations in cancer patients. For example, the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the receptor of COVID-19, is aberrantly expressed in many tumors. Some cancer drugs could also be repurposed as COVID-19 treatments.
We previous discussed that amongst all epigenetic alterations, DNA methylation is the most widely studied in cancer. This is because the status of DNA methylation changes during different stages of carcinogenesis can be readily detected using current technology. The advantage of using epigenetic changes as biomarkers is their stability and availability in many sample types. With modern technology, the detection of epigenetic changes can also be useful as a detection tool in non-invasive biospecimens such as blood plasma and serum.
Epigenetic changes are also useful for treatment discovery, as different malignancies present with different epigenetic signatures and therefore the reversal of this phenotype presents as a targetable therapy. For example, global DNA hypermethylation can be reversed with demethylation agents such as decitabine, while histone modification alterations can be attenuated with TSA or SAHA. Additionally, downregulated tumor-suppressor microRNA expression can be restored by synthetic microRNA replacement therapy. Epigenetic biomarkers including DNA methylation, histone modification, microRNA, circular RNA, non-coding RNA, etc. can all potentially be influenced by the COVID-19 virus RNA. The understanding of this complex relationship will facilitate not only treatment options for COVID-19 patients, but also cancer patients.
The present Special Issue aims to publish high-quality research articles as well as review contributions on a variety of topics related to epigenetic biomarkers, COVID-19, and therapeutic options.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
- Types of epigenetic biomarkers used in clinical practice for different diseases:
- DNA methylation of circulating or non-circulating DNA;
- Histone modification (e.g., histone methylation and acetylation);
- microRNA, circular RNA, and other non-coding RNA;
- Methods of new epigenetic biomarker discovery;
- The potential of liquid biopsy for epigenetic biomarker detection;
- The process of developing of epigenetic biomarkers as treatment options for clinical practice.
Dr. Yuen Yee Cheng
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Epigenomes is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.