Epigenetics has emerged recently as an important area of molecular biological studies. Epigenetic modifications are potentially heritable but reversible alterations in gene expression which determine the fate of cells and therefore play a role in diseases, including cancer and neuronal disorders.The great interest in this regulatory system results from the fact that epigenetic, in contrast to genetic, alterations are in principle amenable to pharmacological intervention. A few epigenetically active drugs, for example histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) and DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitors, are currently undergoing clinical trials. This volume highlights the results of such studies, including the epigenetic control of gene expression and post-transcriptional silencing of genes by RNA interference (RNAi) and microRNAs (miRNSs) as well as new findings from stem cell research which are relevant to pharmacological applications.

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