Investigation of epigenetics in kidney cell biology

Linda Xiaoyan Li, Ewud Agborbesong, Lu Zhang, Xiaogang Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in DNA or its associated proteins except mutations in gene sequence. Epigenetic regulation plays fundamental roles in the processes of kidney cell biology through the action of DNA methylation, chromatin modifications via epigenetic regulators and interaction via transcription factors, and noncoding RNA species. Kidney diseases, including acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, nephritic and nephrotic syndromes, pyelonephritis and polycystic kidney diseases are driven by aberrant activity in numerous signaling pathways in even individual kidney cell. Epigenetic alterations, including DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, noncoding RNAs, and protein posttranslational modifications, could disrupt essential pathways that protect the renal cells from uncontrolled growth, apoptosis and establishment of other renal associated syndromes, which have been recognized as one of the critical mechanisms for regulating functional changes that drive and maintain the kidney disease phenotype. In this chapter, we briefly summarize the epigenetic mechanisms in kidney cell biology and epigenetic basis of kidney development, and introduce epigenetic techniques that can be used in investigating the molecular mechanism of kidney cell biology and kidneys diseases, primarily focusing on the integration of DNA methylation and chromatin immunoprecipitation technologies into kidney disease associated studies. Future studies using these emerging technologies will elucidate how alterations in the renal cell epigenome cooperate with genetic aberrations for kidney disease initiation and progression. Incorporating epigenomic testing into the clinical research is essential to future studies with epigenetics biomarkers and precision medicine using emerging epigenetic therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Kidney Cell Biology - Part A
EditorsThomas Weimbs
PublisherAcademic Press Inc
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780128170823
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameMethods in Cell Biology
ISSN (Print)0091-679X


  • Bisulfite conversion
  • Chromatin
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Histone modification
  • Kidney

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigation of epigenetics in kidney cell biology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this