Open Access

DNA methylation in endometriosis (Review)

  • Authors:
    • Ourania Koukoura
    • Stavros Sifakis
    • Demetrios A. Spandidos
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: February 22, 2016
  • Pages: 2939-2948
  • Copyright: © Koukoura et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

Metrics: Total Views: 0 (Spandidos Publications: | PMC Statistics: )
Total PDF Downloads: 0 (Spandidos Publications: | PMC Statistics: )


Endometriosis is defined by the presence and growth of functional endometrial tissue, outside the uterine cavity, primarily in the ovaries, pelvic peritoneum and rectovaginal septum. Although it is a benign disease, it presents with malignant characteristics, such as invasion to surrounding tissues, metastasis to distant locations and recurrence following treatment. Accumulating evidence suggests that various epigenetic aberrations may play an essential role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. Aberrant DNA methylation represents a possible mechanism repsonsible for this disease, linking gene expression alterations observed in endometriosis with hormonal and environmental factors. Several lines of evidence indicate that endometriosis may partially be due to selective epigenetic deregulations influenced by extrinsic factors. Previous studies have shed light into the epigenetic component of endometriosis, reporting variations in the epigenetic patterns of genes known to be involved in the aberrant hormonal, immunologic and inflammatory status of endometriosis. Although recent studies, utilizing advanced molecular techniques, have allowed us to further elucidate the possible association of DNA methylation with altered gene expression, whether these molecular changes represent the cause or merely the consequence of the disease is a question which remains to be answered. This review provides an overview of the current literature on the role of DNA methylation in the pathophysiology and malignant evolution of endometriosis. We also provide insight into the mechanisms through which DNA methylation-modifying agents may be the next step in the research of the pharmaceutical treatment of endometriosis.
View Figures
View References

Related Articles

Journal Cover

Volume 13 Issue 4

Print ISSN: 1791-2997
Online ISSN:1791-3004

Sign up for eToc alerts

Recommend to Library

Copy and paste a formatted citation
Spandidos Publications style
Koukoura O, Sifakis S and Spandidos DA: DNA methylation in endometriosis (Review). Mol Med Rep 13: 2939-2948, 2016
Koukoura, O., Sifakis, S., & Spandidos, D.A. (2016). DNA methylation in endometriosis (Review). Molecular Medicine Reports, 13, 2939-2948.
Koukoura, O., Sifakis, S., Spandidos, D. A."DNA methylation in endometriosis (Review)". Molecular Medicine Reports 13.4 (2016): 2939-2948.
Koukoura, O., Sifakis, S., Spandidos, D. A."DNA methylation in endometriosis (Review)". Molecular Medicine Reports 13, no. 4 (2016): 2939-2948.