Synergy of Homocysteine, MicroRNA, and Epigenetics: A Novel Therapeutic Approach for Stroke.
Homocysteine (Hcy) is a thiol-containing amino acid formed during methionine metabolism. Elevated level of Hcy is known as hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy). HHcy is an independent risk factor for cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, etc. Stroke, which is caused by interruption of blood supply to the brain, is one of the leading causes of death and disability in a number of people worldwide. The HHcy causes an increased carotid artery plaque that may lead to ischemic stroke but the mechanism is currently not well understood. Though mutations or polymorphisms in the key genes of Hcy metabolism pathway have been well elucidated in stroke, emerging evidences suggested epigenetic mechanisms equally play an important role in stroke development such as DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling, RNA editing, noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), and microRNAs (miRNAs). However, there is no review available yet that describes the role of genetics and epigenetics during HHcy in stroke. The current review highlights the role of genetics and epigenetics in stroke during HHcy and the role of epigenetics in its therapeutics. The review also highlights possible epigenetic mechanisms, potential therapeutic molecules, putative challenges, and approaches to deal with stroke during HHcy.