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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 373708, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/373708
Review Article

Skewed Epigenetics: An Alternative Therapeutic Option for Diabetes Complications

Department of Medical Sciences, University of Turin, Corso Dogliotti 14, 10126 Turin, Italy

Received 23 December 2014; Revised 7 April 2015; Accepted 22 April 2015

Academic Editor: Jun Panee

Copyright © 2015 Gabriele Togliatto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Vascular complications are major causes of morbidity and mortality in type 2 diabetes patients. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and a lack of efficient antioxidant machinery, a result of hyperglycaemia, mainly contribute to this problem. Although advances in therapy have significantly reduced both morbidity and mortality in diabetic individuals, diabetes-associated vascular complications are still one of the most challenging health problems worldwide. New healing options are urgently needed as current therapeutics are failing to improve long-term outcomes. Particular effort has recently been devoted to understanding the functional relationship between chromatin structure regulation and the persistent change in gene expression which is driven by hyperglycaemia and which accounts for long-lasting diabetic complications. A detailed investigation into epigenetic chromatin modifications in type 2 diabetes is underway. This will be particularly useful in the design of mechanism-based therapeutics which interfere with long-lasting activating epigenetics and improve patient outcomes. We herein provide an overview of the most relevant mechanisms that account for hyperglycaemia-induced changes in chromatin structure; the most relevant mechanism is called “metabolic memory.”