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. 2007 Feb;39(2):157-8.
doi: 10.1038/ng1941. Epub 2006 Dec 31.

Epigenetic Stem Cell Signature in Cancer


Epigenetic Stem Cell Signature in Cancer

Martin Widschwendter et al. Nat Genet. .


Embryonic stem cells rely on Polycomb group proteins to reversibly repress genes required for differentiation. We report that stem cell Polycomb group targets are up to 12-fold more likely to have cancer-specific promoter DNA hypermethylation than non-targets, supporting a stem cell origin of cancer in which reversible gene repression is replaced by permanent silencing, locking the cell into a perpetual state of self-renewal and thereby predisposing to subsequent malignant transformation.

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