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Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy


ISSN (Print): 1574-888X
ISSN (Online): 2212-3946

General Review Article

Key Epigenetic Events Involved in the Maintenance of Breast Cancer Stem Cells

Author(s): Mahsa Pourmahdi, Ali Saber, Ali Rajabi, Sepehr Abdolahi, Pirooz Ebrahimi and Reza Safaralizadeh*

Volume 16, Issue 7, 2021

Published on: 03 February, 2021

Page: [877 - 887] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/1574888X16666210203111605

Price: $65


Background: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a small subpopulation of cells within tumors and play significant roles in tumorigenesis, metastasis, resistance to treatment, and relapse. They are defined by self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation, and aggressiveness. Epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation and acetylation, histone modifications, and non-coding. RNAs (ncRNAs), are partly responsible for CSC potentials and are involved in the modification of key components of crucial pathways such as Notch and Wnt signaling in breast cancer.

Objective: In this review, we present an overview of the pathways and epigenetic events that lead to the transformation of mammary gland stem cells to breast CSCs (BCSCs). Based on the data presented here, important pathways such as TGF-β/SMAD2 and Wnt/β-catenin and epigenetic modifications, including histone modifications, DNA methylations, and microRNAs, play important roles in BCSC formation and maintenance.

Conclusion: Epigenetic events can alter the expression of genes and functional RNAs, resulting in tumor initiation and progression. Thus, a better understanding of epigenetic modifications involved in BCSC maintenance signaling pathways may help to eliminate or suppress BCSCs and overcome cancer by generating more effective and efficient therapeutic agents.

Keywords: Epigenetics, BCSCs, stem cell, breast cancer, signaling pathway, melatonin.

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