, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 175-182

Epigenetic aspects of MDS and its molecular targeted therapy


The term “epigenetics” refers to clonally inherited stable variability in gene expression without underlying genetic changes. There are two well-known molecular mechanisms for epigenetic information: DNA methylation and histone modifications. Epigenetic changes have been recognized in the past decade as critical factors for physiological phenomena such as embryogenesis and the differentiation of normal cells. There is recent interest regarding the involvement of aberrant DNA methylation and histone modifications in mediating altered physiology in cancer. MDS is characterized by epigenetic changes, mutations in epigenetic regulators, and response to DNA methylation inhibitors, suggesting that epigenetic changes are unique features of MDS patients. In this article, recent progress in the understanding of MDS epigenetics and epigenetics-based therapies is reviewed.