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Nat Genet. 2007 Feb;39(2):157-8. Epub 2006 Dec 31.

Epigenetic stem cell signature in cancer.

Author information

  • 1Department of Gynecological Oncology, Institute for Women's Health, University College London, London WC1E 6DH, UK. M.Widschwendter@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Embryonic stem cells rely on Polycomb group proteins to reversibly repress genes required for differentiation. We report that stem cell Polycomb group targets are up to 12-fold more likely to have cancer-specific promoter DNA hypermethylation than non-targets, supporting a stem cell origin of cancer in which reversible gene repression is replaced by permanent silencing, locking the cell into a perpetual state of self-renewal and thereby predisposing to subsequent malignant transformation.

PMID:
17200673
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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