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Epigenetics of Estrogen and Progesterone Receptors in Endometriosis

Abstract

Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent inflammatory gynecological disease. Increased estrogen activity and progesterone resistance are the main hormonal substrate of this disease and are associated with inflammatory response and debilitating symptoms, including pain and infertility. Estrogens and progesterone act via their specific nuclear receptors. The regulation of receptor expression by epigenetics maybe a critical factor for endometriosis. The present review aims to discuss the epigenetic mechanisms related to the expression of estrogen receptors (ERs) and progesterone receptors (PRs) in patients with endometriosis, including two classic epigenetic mechanisms: DNA methylation and histone modification, and, other non-classic mechanisms: miRNAs and lncRNA. Several in vitro and in vivo studies support the key role of epigenetics in the regulation of the expression of ERs and PRs, which may provide new molecules and targets for the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis.

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Acknowledgments

The study has been contributed with the support of “Fondazione Careggi-Academy for Women’s Health,” “Fondazione CR Firenze, project entitled The First 1000 Days of Life: Ambiental Disruptors and Women’s Health” endometriosis No.181010, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81701401 to Luting Chen) and AHH and FP extend their appreciation to the International Scientific Partnership Program ISPP at King Saud University for funding this research work through ISPP# 152.

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Correspondence to Felice Petraglia.

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Chen, H., Malentacchi, F., Fambrini, M. et al. Epigenetics of Estrogen and Progesterone Receptors in Endometriosis. Reprod. Sci. 27, 1967–1974 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43032-020-00226-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s43032-020-00226-2

Keywords

  • Estrogen receptor
  • Progesterone receptor
  • DNA methylation
  • Histone modification
  • miRNA
  • lncRNA