Lung cancer, the leading cause of mortality in both men and women in the United States, is largely diagnosed at its advanced stages that there are no effective therapeutic alternatives. Although tobacco smoking is the well established cause of lung cancer, the underlying mechanism for lung tumorigenesis remains poorly understood. An important event in tumor development appears to be the epigenetic alterations, especially the change of DNA methylation patterns, which induce the most tumor suppressor gene silence. In one scenario, DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) that is responsible for DNA methylation accounts for the major epigenetic maintenance and alternation. In another scenario, DNMT itself is regulated by the environment carcinogens (smoke), epigenetic and genetic information. DNMT not only plays a pivotal role in lung tumorigenesis, but also is a promising molecular bio-marker for early lung cancer diagnosis and therapy. Therefore the elucidation of the DNMT and its related epigenetic regulation in lung cancer is of great importance, which may expedite the overcome of lung cancer.
Keywords: Lung cancer, epigenetic regulation, DNA methylation, DNMT, gene silence, epigenetic therapy
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport