Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 6 (12), 1455-9

CpG Island Hypermethylation of Tumor Suppressor microRNAs in Human Cancer

  • PMID: 17581274

CpG Island Hypermethylation of Tumor Suppressor microRNAs in Human Cancer

Amaia Lujambio et al. Cell Cycle.


In the last few years, microRNAs have started a revolution in molecular biology and emerged as key players in the cancer process. For these reasons, it is extremely important to understand the physiological and disease-associated mechanisms underlying the regulation of these small, single-stranded RNAs. Thus, it was merely a matter of time before microRNAs and epigenetics coincided. In cancer, aberrant DNA hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes, global genomic DNA hypomethylation, and disruption of the histone modification patterns are the main epigenetic alterations, and have consequently been widely studied. Some microRNAs are downregulated in cancer and act as bona fide tumor suppressor genes, and this knowledge led to the proposal of the hypothesis that miRNAs could be silenced by epigenetic mechanisms. It has recently been shown that miR-127 and miR-124a, two putative tumor suppressor miRNAs, are methylated in tumor cells. Epigenomic tools can be effectively used in the search for new methylated tumor suppressor microRNAs. Furthermore, this aberrant methylation can be reversed by epigenetic drugs, such as DNA demethylating agents and histone deacetylase inhibitors, restoring microRNA expression levels and reverting the tumoral phenotype. In the coming years we will come to realize more fully the relevance of this expected encounter between two forces-epigenetics and microRNAs-that are currently at the forefront of biology.

Similar articles

  • A microRNA DNA Methylation Signature for Human Cancer Metastasis
    A Lujambio et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105 (36), 13556-61. PMID 18768788.
    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs that can contribute to cancer development and progression by acting as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. Recent studies ha …
  • CpG Island Hypermethylation and Tumor Suppressor Genes: A Booming Present, a Brighter Future
    M Esteller. Oncogene 21 (35), 5427-40. PMID 12154405. - Review
    We have come a long way since the first reports of the existence of aberrant DNA methylation in human cancer. Hypermethylation of CpG islands located in the promoter regi …
  • Epigenetics and miRNAs in Human Cancer
    M Fabbri et al. Adv Genet 70, 87-99. PMID 20920746. - Review
    Epigenetic factors and microRNAs (miRNAs) are regulators of gene expression. Their regulatory function is frequently aberrant in cancer. In this chapter, we show that a t …
  • The Necessity of a Human Epigenome Project
    M Esteller. Carcinogenesis 27 (6), 1121-5. PMID 16699174. - Review
    Epigenetics is one of the hottest topics in cancer research. We know that human tumors undergo a major disruption of their DNA methylation and histone modification patter …
  • Epigenetic Mechanisms in Glioblastoma Multiforme
    RP Nagarajan et al. Semin Cancer Biol 19 (3), 188-97. PMID 19429483. - Review
    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive and lethal cancer, accounting for the majority of primary brain tumors in adults. GBMs are characterized by genetic alterat …
See all similar articles

Cited by 81 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources