Genome plasticity and endocrine diseases
Genome Plasticity in Health and Disease
School of Medical and Health Sciences
The human genome is routinely considered as a static component of the cell, governed by two fates: inheritance or mutation and adaption. However, in the postgenomics era since the Human Genome Project was completed, the changing of certain elements of the genome has been observed in response to the external stressors from the environment and the internal risk factors generated in the course of pathophysiology, which is defined as genome plasticity. Interplays between genetic and external factors contribute to the pathogenesis of many human complex diseases, such as endocrine diseases. However, our understandings of the molecular mechanisms by which these factors interact remain challenging. In this chapter, we attempt to review the advances of research on genome plasticity in human endocrine diseases and disorders, mainly focusing on the most popular endocrine diseases: type 2 diabetes mellitus and autoimmune thyroid disease. We also explore the potential roles of genome plasticity in the two types of diseases and discuss how the interplays of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors lead to the development of these diseases.