Cancer Epigenetics

Adult cancer cells isolated from clinical tissue biopsies have been discovered to have both global DNA epigenetic changes and gene-specific hypermethylation. The genomes of people with colorectal cancer were shown to be hypomethylated in early investigations on cancer epigenetics. Silent sections of the genome and areas of the genome that are typically hypermethylated were discovered to be demethylated in these patients. However, hypermethylation of CpG islands has been associated with aberrant gene activation in some cancers, such as the suppression of tumor-suppressor genes. Repeating DNA sequences, such as microsatellites, become functionally aberrant and promote cancer when DNA is hypermethylated. Abnormal epigenetic modulations in the MLH1 promoter lead to the distortion of microsatellites in colorectal and ovarian malignancies.

  • Posttranslational histones
  • Noncoding RNAs
  • Micro-RNAs

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