Histone methyltransferases in cancer

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2010 Apr;21(2):209-20. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2009.10.007. Epub 2009 Nov 3.

Abstract

Cancer is perceived as a heterogeneous group of diseases that is characterized by aberrant patterns of gene expression. In the last decade, an increasing amount of data has pointed to a key role for epigenetic alterations in human cancer. In this review, we focus on a subclass of epigenetic regulators, namely histone methyltransferases (HMTs). Several HMTs have been linked to different types of cancer; however, in most cases we only have limited knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms by which the HMTs contribute to disease development. We summarize the current knowledge regarding some of the best-validated examples of HMTs contributing to tumorigenesis and discuss their potential mechanisms of action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Histone Methyltransferases
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase / genetics*
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*

Substances

  • Histone Methyltransferases
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase