Vitamin C is an essential dietary requirement for humans. In addition to its known role as an antioxidant, vitamin C is a cofactor for Fe2+- and α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases (Fe2+/α-KGDDs) which comprise a large number of diverse enzymes, including collagen prolyl hydroxylases and epigenetic regulators of histone and DNA methylation. Vitamin C can modulate embryonic stem cell (ESC) function, enhance reprogramming of fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and hinder the aberrant self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) through its ability to enhance the activity of either Jumonji C (JmjC) domain-containing histone demethylases or ten-eleven translocation (TET) DNA hydroxylases. Given that epigenetic dysregulation is a known driver of malignancy, vitamin C may play a novel role as an epigenetic anticancer agent.
Keywords: TET proteins; cancer; epigenetics; methylation; stem cells; vitamin C.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.