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Prospects for Use of Single-Cell Sequencing to Assess DNA Methylation in Asthma

Shuai Men, Yanyan Yu

Pediatric Asthma Department, Lianyungang Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Lianyungang, Jiangsu, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e925514

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.925514

Available online: 2020-08-17

Published: 2020-10-03


ABSTRACT: Asthma is a complex disease with an increasing prevalence rate caused by the interaction of multiple genetically inherited and environmental factors. Epigenetics link genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that plays a crucial role in the regulation of growth and development, gene expression, and disease. Relatively little is known about DNA methylation in asthma, with few studies to date using single-cell sequencing to analyze the molecular mechanism by which DNA methylation regulates asthma. Cells with similar phenotypes may be heterogeneous in function and transcription, as may their genetic information. Although multi-omics methods, such as studies of the genome, transcriptome, and epigenome, can be used to evaluate biological processes, these methods are applicable only to groups of cells or tissues and provide averages that may obscure direct correlations among multiple layers of data. Single-cell sequencing technology can clarify the methylation and expression of genes in different populations of cells, in contrast to traditional multi-omics sequencing, which can determine only average values of cell populations. Single-cell sequence can therefore better reflect the pathogenesis of asthma, as it can clarify the function and regulatory mechanism of DNA methylation in asthma, and detect new genes and molecular markers that may become therapeutic targets in this disease.

Keywords: Asthma, DNA Methylation, Epigenesis, Genetic, Single-Cell Analysis



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