DNA methylation and cancer

Partha M. Das, Rakesh Singal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

798 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

DNA methylation is an important regulator of gene transcription, and its role in carcinogenesis has been a topic of considerable interest in the last few years. Alterations in DNA methylation are common in a variety of tumors as well as in development. Of all epigenetic modifications, hypermethylation, which represses transcription of the promoter regions of tumor suppressor genes leading to gene silencing, has been most extensively studied. However, global hypomethylation has also been recognized as a cause of oncogenesis. New information concerning the mechanism of methylation and its control has led to the discovery of many regulatory proteins and enzymes. The contribution of dietary folate and methylene terahydrofolate reductase polymorphisms to methylation patterns in normal and cancer tissues is under intense investigation. As methylation occurs early and can be detected in body fluids, it may be of potential use in early detection of tumors and for determining the prognosis. Because DNA methylation is reversible, drugs like 5′-azacytidine, decitabine, and histone deacetylase inhibitors are being used to treat a variety of tumors. Novel demethylating agents such as antisense DNA methyl transferase and small interference RNA are being developed, making the field of DNA methylation wider and more exciting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4632-4642
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume22
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

Fingerprint

DNA Methylation
Methylation
decitabine
Neoplasms
Carcinogenesis
Antisense DNA
Azacitidine
Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
Body Fluids
Gene Silencing
Regulator Genes
Transferases
RNA Interference
Tumor Suppressor Genes
Folic Acid
Genetic Promoter Regions
Epigenomics
Oxidoreductases
Enzymes
Pharmaceutical Preparations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

DNA methylation and cancer. / Das, Partha M.; Singal, Rakesh.

In: Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol. 22, No. 22, 01.12.2004, p. 4632-4642.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Das, Partha M. ; Singal, Rakesh. / DNA methylation and cancer. In: Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2004 ; Vol. 22, No. 22. pp. 4632-4642.
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