alexa Epigenomics: Pioneering a New Frontier in Cancer Research

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Epigenomics: Pioneering a New Frontier in Cancer Research

Cancer typically occurs as the consequence of mutations or deregulated expression of genes that control cell survival, proliferation and/or death. Given its remarkable intricacy and complexity, the concept of cancer as a disease that can be greatly impacted by alterations in epigenetic regulation (and thus gene expression) has gained considerable momentum within the scientific community. In the 1990s, one focal point of epigenetic cancer research was ascertaining the extent of DNA methylation abnormalities and defining how DNA methylation influences expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in transformed cells . However, during the past decade, this focus has been significantly broadened by the upsurge of research identifying and studying the role of molecules that affect chromatin dynamics (i.e. global DNA methylation and post-translational modifications of histones) in cancer cells. This new wave of research has given way to an emerging view of what may now be called “the cancer epigenome,” which consists of heritable abnormalities that occur in the absence of DNA sequence alterations in the genome.



Citation: Chervona Y, Costa M, Dai W (2012) Epigenomics: Pioneering a New Frontier in Cancer Research. J Pharmacogenom Pharmacoproteomics 3:e109. doi:10.4172/2153-0645.1000e109

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