Decoding the histone code: Role of H3K36me3 in mismatch repair and implications for cancer susceptibility and therapy

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DNA mismatch repair (MMR) maintains genome stability primarily by correcting replication-associated mismatches. Defects in MMR lead to several human cancers characterized by frequent alterations in simple repetitive DNA sequences, a phenomenon called microsatellite instability (MSI). In most MSI-positive cancers, genetic or epigenetic changes that alter the function or expression of an essential MMR protein have been identified. However, in a subset of MSI-positive cancers, epigenetic or genetic changes have not been found in known MMR genes, such that the molecular basis of the MMR defect in these cells remains unknown. A possible answer to this puzzle emerged recently when it was discovered that H3K36me3, a well-studied posttranslational histone modification or histone mark, plays a role in regulating humanMMRin vivo. In this review, potential roles for this histone mark to modulate genome stability and cancer susceptibility in human cells are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6379-6383
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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