Methylation destiny: Moira takes account of histones and RNA polymerase II

Epigenetics. 2010 Feb 16;5(2):89-95. doi: 10.4161/epi.5.2.10774. Epub 2010 Feb 27.


Aberrant DNA methylation is deeply involved in various human disorders. Contrary to our initial expectation, aberrant methylation is now known to possess several unique characteristics different from mutations, including target gene specificity. Specific cancers have methylation of specific genes and specific inducers of methylation, such as Helicobacter pylori infection, induce methylation of specific genes. Mechanistically, it has been known that low levels of transcription of a gene promote its methylation. multiple studies have shown that high levels of trimethylation of histone H3 lysine27 in normal cells are associated with a risk of becoming methylated during carcinogenesis. We recently demonstrated that genes with high levels of binding of RNA polymerase II, regardless of transcription levels, are resistant to induction of aberrant methylation. Now, epigenetic destiny can be predicted by these factors and interference with these factors might be able to change the destiny.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Methylation / genetics*
  • Genes, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Histones
  • RNA Polymerase II