Recently emerging evidence has shown that epigenetic mechanisms are involved in initiation and progression of various diseases, including kidney diseases. In the present article, we review the current data regarding the role of epigenetic modulation in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney fibrosis, including DNA methylation and histone modification. Especially we focused on the role of transcription factors in epigenetic modulation and the possibility of therapeutic target of CKD. We have recently reported that transcription factor Kruppel-like factor 4 (also known as gut-enriched Kruppel-like factor) is expressed in kidney podocytes (visceral epithelial cells) and modulates podocyte phenotype by gene-selective epigenetic control. Targeting transcription factors for epigenetic modification may be a good candidate for remission and regression of CKD. It is necessary for the therapy of CKD with an epigenetic-based approach to investigate organ-, tissue-, or gene-specific treatment methods for reduction of side effects.
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