Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 117 (4), 677-87

The Role of Epigenetic Transcription Repression and DNA Methyltransferases in Cancer

Affiliations
Review

The Role of Epigenetic Transcription Repression and DNA Methyltransferases in Cancer

Filipe Ivan Daniel et al. Cancer.

Abstract

Epigenetic alterations such as DNA methylation have been implicated in the development and progression of various cancers. DNA methylation consists of the reversible addition of a methyl group to the carbon 5 position of cytosine in CpG dinucleotides and is considered essential for normal embryonic development. However, global genomic hypomethylation and aberrant hypermethylation of regulatory regions of tumor suppressor genes have been associated with chromosomal instability and transcription repression, respectively, providing neoplastic cells with a selective advantage. DNA methyltransferases are the enzymes responsible for the addition of methyl groups to CpG dinucleotides, which, together with histone modifiers, initiate the events necessary for transcription repression to occur. It has been demonstrated that increased expression of DNA methyltransferases may contribute to tumor progression through methylation-mediated gene inactivation in various human cancers. Given their importance, this article reviews the main epigenetic mechanisms for regulating transcription and its implications in cancer development.

Similar articles

  • DNA Methylation and Cancer
    M Kulis et al. Adv Genet 70, 27-56. PMID 20920744. - Review
    DNA methylation is one of the most intensely studied epigenetic modifications in mammals. In normal cells, it assures the proper regulation of gene expression and stable …
  • [Role and Significance of DNA Methylation]
    M Kowal et al. Pol Merkur Lekarski 14 (82), 364-8. PMID 12868204. - Review
    DNA methylation is covalent addition of a methyl group to cytosine within the CpG dinucleotide. It has profound effects on the mammalian genome. These effects include tra …
  • The Role of Mammalian DNA Methyltransferases in the Regulation of Gene Expression
    J Turek-Plewa et al. Cell Mol Biol Lett 10 (4), 631-47. PMID 16341272. - Review
    The term epigenetic modification denotes reversible traits of gene expression that do not include alterations to the DNA sequence. These epigenetic alterations are respon …
  • DNMT1 Is Required to Maintain CpG Methylation and Aberrant Gene Silencing in Human Cancer Cells
    MF Robert et al. Nat Genet 33 (1), 61-5. PMID 12496760.
    Transcriptional silencing by CpG island methylation is a prevalent mechanism of tumor-suppressor gene suppression in cancers. Genetic experiments have defined the importa …
  • Epigenetic Changes in Cancer
    K Grønbaek et al. APMIS 115 (10), 1039-59. PMID 18042143. - Review
    A cancer develops when a cell acquires specific growth advantages through the stepwise accumulation of heritable changes in gene function. Basically, this process is dire …
See all similar articles

Cited by 31 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

Substances

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback