Cancer cells possess both genetic and epigenetic alterations that dysregulate essential cellular processes, leading to disordered cell proliferation and differentiation. Oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes have been found to be activated and inactivated, respectively, in malignant cells. Epigenetic regulation of the genome is mediated by interactions between DNA methylation, chromatin, and modifications of histones and various transcriptional regulators. Recent studies have shown that some components of the epigenetic system as well as epigenetically mutated genes are diagnostic and therapeutic targets in cancer. We discuss the molecular basis of the epigenetic mechanism in association with the development of cancer.
Epigenetics Chromatin Histone Cancer Therapy
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Wade PA. Transcriptional control at regulatory checkpoints by histone deacetylases: molecular connections between cancer and chromatin. Hum Mol Genet. 2001;10:693–698.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Watanabe S, Ichimura T, Fujita N, et al. Methylated DNA-binding domain 1 and methylpurine-DNA glycosylase link transcriptional repression and DNA repair in chromatin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003;100:12859–12864.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
Zhong S, Salomoni P, Pandolfi PP. The transcriptional role of PML and the nuclear body. Nat Cell Biol. 2000;2:E85-E90.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Di Croce L, Raker VA, Corsaro M, et al. Methyltransferase recruitment and DNA hypermethylation of target promoters by an oncogenic transcription factor. Science. 2002;295:1079–1082.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar