Abstract: The exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM) increases the risk of developing human diseases. Epigenetic mechanisms have been related to environmental exposures and human diseases. The present review is focused on current available studies, which show the relationship between epigenetic marks, exposure to air pollution and human's health. Air contaminants involved in epigenetic changes have been related to different specific mechanisms (DNA methylation, post-translational histone modifications and non-coding RNA transcripts), which are described in separate sections. Several studies describe how these epigenetic mechanisms are influenced by environmental factors including air pollution. This interaction between PM and epigenetic factors results in an altered profile of these marks, in both, globally and locus specific. Following this connection, specific epigenetic marks can be used as biomarkers, as well as, to find new therapeutic targets. For this purpose, some significant characteristics have been highlighted, such as, the spatiotemporal specificity of these marks, the relevance of the collected tissue and the specific changes stability. Air pollution has been related to a higher mortality rate due to non-accidental deaths. This exposure to particulate matter induces changes to the epigenome, which are increasing the susceptibility of human diseases. In conclusion, as several epigenetic change mechanisms remain unclear yet, further analyses derived from PM exposure must be performed to find new targets and disease biomarkers.
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