Minireview: Epigenetics of obesity and diabetes in humans

Howard Slomko, Hye J. Heo, Francine H. Einstein

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Understanding the determinants of human health and disease is overwhelmingly complex, particularly for common, late-onset, chronic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes. Elucidating the genetic and environmental factors that influence susceptibility to disruptions in energy homeostasis and metabolic regulation remain a challenge, and progress will entail the integration of multiple assessments of temporally dynamic environmental exposures in the context of each individual's genotype. To meet this challenge, researchers are increasingly exploring the epigenome, which is the malleable interface of gene-environment interactions. Epigenetic variation, whether innate or induced, contributes to variation in gene expression, the range of potential individual responses to internal and external cues, and risk for metabolic disease. Ultimately, advancement in our understanding of chronic disease susceptibility in humans will depend on refinement of exposure assessment tools and systems biology approaches to interpretation. In this review, we present recent progress in epigenetics of human obesity and diabetes, existing challenges, and the potential for new approaches to unravel the complex biology of metabolic dysregulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1030
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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