DNA methylation in health, disease, and cancer

David S. Shames, John D. Minna, Adi F. Gazdar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

144 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The spatial arrangement and three-dimensional structure of DNA in the nucleus is controlled through the interdigitation of DNA binding proteins such as histones and their modifiers, the Polycomb-Trithorax proteins, and the DNA methyltransferase enzymes. DNA methylation forms the foundation of chromatin and is crucial to epigenetic gene regulation in mammals. Disease pathogenesis mediated through infectious agents, inflammation, aging, or genetic damage often involves changes in gene expression. In particular, cellular transformation coincides with multiple changes in chromatin architecture, many of which appear to affect genome integrity and gene expression. infectious agents, such as viruses directly affect genome structure and induce methylation of particular sequences to suppress host immune responses. Hyperproliferative tissues such as those in the gastrointestinal tract and colon have been shown to gradually acquire aberrant promoter hypermethylation. Here we review recent findings on altered DNA methylation in human disease, with particular focus on cancer and the increasingly large number of genes subject to tumor-specific promoter hypermethylation and the possible role of aberrant methylation in tumor development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-102
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Molecular Medicine
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Fingerprint

DNA Methylation
Gene expression
Methylation
Chromatin
Genes
Protein Methyltransferases
Health
Genome
Gene Expression
Tumors
DNA
DNA-Binding Proteins
Epigenomics
Carcinogens
Histones
Gastrointestinal Tract
Mammals
Neoplasms
Colon
Methyltransferases

Keywords

  • 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine
  • Cancer
  • Chromatin
  • DNA methylation
  • Hypermethylation
  • Hypomethylation
  • Preneoplasia
  • Promoter methylation
  • Repetitive elements
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

Cite this

DNA methylation in health, disease, and cancer. / Shames, David S.; Minna, John D.; Gazdar, Adi F.

In: Current Molecular Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 1, 02.2007, p. 85-102.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Shames, David S. ; Minna, John D. ; Gazdar, Adi F. / DNA methylation in health, disease, and cancer. In: Current Molecular Medicine. 2007 ; Vol. 7, No. 1. pp. 85-102.
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