Pharmacoepigenomics: a key determinant in resolving epigenomic parameters in pathogenesis and treatment response in complex diseases.

Pharmacogenomics VOL. 23, NO. 2 | EDITORIAL |Published Online: 29 Nov 2021

Moinak Banerjee


Pharmacoepigenomics is an emerging tool which complements pharmacogenetics in personalized treatment. While pharmacogenetics refers to genetic variation in pharmacogenetic genes, pharmacoepigenomics refers to epigenetic impact of environment and drugs on pharmacogenetic genes directly or indirectly, thereby influencing therapeutic response. To resolve the pharmacoepigenomic influence in therapeutic response one must address the role of environmental factors in modulating an epigenetic influence and the role of therapeutic drugs in modulating an epigenetic influence to bring in therapeutic response. The molecular determinants of the epigenetic landscape are DNA methylation, histone modifications and miRNAs. These molecular determinants are also governed intrinsically by genes, and genetic variations in these genes can impact the epigenetic landscape, which in turn may bring in therapeutic response through differential pharmacoepigenetic influence. Racial differences in gene specific methylation have been reported (2) which will not be discussed here. In this article the focus would be on the role of extrinsic factors often referred to as environmental factors that modulate the epigenome, resulting in an impac on treatment response.


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