Perspectives on the discovery of small-molecule modulators for epigenetic processes.
Epigenetic gene regulation is a critical process controlling differentiation and development, the malfunction of which may underpin a variety of diseases. In this article, we review the current landscape of small-molecule epigenetic modulators including drugs on the market, key compounds in clinical trials, and chemical probes being used in epigenetic mechanistic studies. Hit identification strategies for the discovery of small-molecule epigenetic modulators are summarized with respect to writers, erasers, and readers of histone marks. Perspectives are provided on opportunities for new hit discovery approaches, some of which may define the next generation of therapeutic intervention strategies for epigenetic processes.