Currently, the cause of myositis is unknown, but disease onset sometime has been associated with exposure to environmental agents such as viral infections. Although attempts to identify viruses in myositis skeletal muscle have failed, several studies have shown that a viral signature (e.g., Type 1 interferon) is present in myositis muscle. To investigate this, we hypothesized that certain virus alters DNA methylation in the promoter regions of genes, leading to their aberrant expression in target tissues and disease phenotype in susceptible genetic backgrounds.

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