DNA methylation and apoptosis

Gopal Gopisetty, Kavitha Ramachandran, Rakesh Singal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


DNA methylation is an epigenetic phenomenon known to play an increasingly important role in the etiology of cancer. Changes in DNA methylation patterns particularly in the promoter region of genes either in the form of hypomethylation or hypermethylation can have profound effects on gene expression. Hypermethylation in the promoter region of genes is involved in down regulation of the gene expression. Studies from various cancers have revealed that DNA methylation affects genes involved in different cellular pathways including apoptosis. Apoptosis or programmed cell death plays a vital role in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis, i.e. a balance between cell proliferation and cell death. Cancer cells are known to harbor defects in apoptotic pathway and disruption of apoptosis is considered as an important factor aiding its evolution. Evidence from literature indicates that DNA methylation mediated down regulation of genes involved in apoptosis could be a significant mechanism through which tumor cells avoid apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1729-1740
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Apoptosis
  • Cancer
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene regulation
  • Transcriptional repression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology


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