Diabetes is the disease of our time. It is a complex disorder. It is increasingly appreciated that genetic factors cannot fully explain susceptibility to diabetes and its complications. For almost a decade, the epigenetics field has grown tremendously becoming an alternative but integral component of how we interpret gene regulation. Some consider the field an epiphenomenon with an evidence base awaiting critical testing. The advent of experimental tools combined with the development of research methods has brought with the field technological advancements that allow scientists to assess ideas that have not yet been tested critically. If there was ever a time not to give up on epigenetics, then that time would be now. Under the seeming disorder of more than 3 billion base pairs, the human genome works successfully with order. It is a complex order. Instructed by a chemical code that is largely uncharted in metabolic disease, developmental studies have clearly shown that code exclusivity is key to unlocking the genetic blueprint. Central to this chemical code are specific modifications to DNA and RNA, histones and nonhistone proteins: these tiny chemical marks that have wide-ranging functions. Robustness is key, and these marks are written to be precisely read and accurately erased.
- diabetic nephropathy