Detalle Publicación

Comprehensive analysis of epigenetic and epitranscriptomic genes' expression in human NAFLD

ISSN: 1138-7548
Volumen: 79
Número: 4
Páginas: 901 - 924
Fecha de publicación: 2023
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a multifactorial condition with a complex etiology. Its incidence is increasing globally in parallel with the obesity epidemic, and it is now considered the most common liver disease in Western countries. The precise mechanisms underlying the development and progression of NAFLD are complex and still poorly understood. The dysregulation of epigenetic and epitranscriptomic mechanisms is increasingly recognized to play pathogenic roles in multiple conditions, including chronic liver diseases. Here, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of the expression of epigenetic and epitranscriptomic genes in a total of 903 liver tissue samples corresponding to patients with normal liver, obese patients, and patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), advancing stages in NAFLD progression. We integrated ten transcriptomic datasets in an unbiased manner, enabling their robust analysis and comparison. We describe the complete landscape of epigenetic and epitranscriptomic genes' expression along the course of the disease. We identify signatures of genes significantly dysregulated in association with disease progression, particularly with liver fibrosis development. Most of these epigenetic and epitranscriptomic effectors have not been previously described in human NAFLD, and their altered expression may have pathogenic implications. We also performed a comprehensive analysis of the expression of enzymes involved in the metabolism of the substrates and cofactors of epigenetic and epitranscriptomic effectors. This study provides novel information on NAFLD pathogenesis and may also guide the identification of drug targets to treat this condition and its progression towards hepatocellular carcinoma.