Epigenetics in asthma

A role for Personalized Medicine to examine novel epigenetic biomarkers to guide precision medicine in asthma.

Asthma often develops in childhood, but may also develop at a later ages. In children and in adults different clinical asthma phenotypes are recognized, but there is a lack of biomarkers that can identify different molecular phenotypes and guide novel expensive targeted treatment. There is a need for dynamic biomarkers that can capture the influence of environmental exposures.

DNA methylation signatures are dynamic and can be influenced by environment. Changes in DNA methylation have been associated with asthma onset, pathogenesis and treatment response. However, longitudinal studies assessing how epigenomic signatures can drive asthma phenotypes are lacking.

In this project, the department of Biological Psychology (VU Amsterdam) and the department of Respiratory Medicine (Amsterdam UMC) collaborate to examine novel epigenetic biomarkers to guide precision medicine in asthma. We study the association between longitudinal changes in epigenetic profiles and changes in asthma phenotypes using unique samples from children, adolescents and adults with asthma assessment and longitudinal DNA samples collected with a 15 years’ time interval. In 2019, the first longitudinal DNA methylation profiles were generated with Illumina arrays for 78 individuals. In collaboration with the Avera Institute for Human Genetics (USA), DNA methylation profiles will be generated for the rest of this cohort.

Contact: Jenny van Dongen:

Afbeelding credits

Header afbeelding: 11259_fullimage_shutterstock_381182923 (rh - asthma) - website_1442x618.jpg

Icon afbeelding: 11259_fullimage_shutterstock_381182923 (rh - asthma) - website_1442x618.jpg