Epigenetics of Cancer
Pp. 83-97 (15)
Claudia M. Garcia-Cuellar and Alfonso Duenas-Gonzalez
In most cancers, a number of epigenetic alterations occur during all stages of carcinogenesis. These
include global DNA hypomethylation, hypermethylation of key tumor suppressor genes, and histone
modifications. Unlike genetic alterations, which are almost impossible to reverse, epigenetic aberrations are
potentially reversible, allowing the malignant cell population to revert to a more normal state. With the advent of
numerous drugs that target specific enzymes involved in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression, the
utilization of epigenetic targets is emerging as an effective and valuable approach to chemotherapy. This revision
is an overview of general epigenetic aspects involved in cancer and the potential utilization of drugs with effects
in epigenetic targets that could be useful in cancer therapy.
Epigenetics, chromatin, DNA methylation, histone modifications, histone deacetylases epigenetic
Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia, Subdireccion de Investigacion Basica, San Fernando No. 22, Tlalpan, 14080 Mexico City, Mexico.