How DNA methylases target genomic sequences is a poorly understood, yet vital component in growth homeostasis in mammals. One mechanism of epigenetic targeting in animals has been shown to involve homology directed repair of double strand DNA breaks. This process leaves behind a methylation scar, which is a source of selective pressure that may promote carcinogenesis. Lessons from the plant reveal that small RNAs direct DNA methylation; however, in animals, RNA based methylation targeting is not understood. A recent report that RNA gene products regulate the DNA-damage response in animal cells, makes a strong imperative for a rigorous search for RNA based targeting mechanisms in humans.
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Citation: Muller MT (2012) Epigenetic Targeting in Cancer: Garden Variety Instructions? J Plant Pathol Microb 3:e103.
Last date updated on July, 2014